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Many years before St. Marguerite Bourgeoys made a fateful decision to be a missionary in Canada, she had a miraculous experience as a child that radically changed her life.
While growing-up in a modestly successful family, St. Marguerite was tempted by vanity and was often distracted away from God.
One day that all changed when she attended a procession on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Margaret Mary Drummond describes the scene in the bookThe Life and Times of Margaret Bourgeoys:
This day of signal grace dawned for our heroine with the first Sunday of October 1640, when the Dominicans of Troyes celebrated the Feast of the Rosary by a solemn procession. As it wound through the narrow streets of the ancient town, the sweet sound of hymns sung by fresh young voices rose and fell upon the cool autumn winds…Margaret who had fallen into the ranks some time before, raised her eyes in loving reverence to the stone statue of the Blessed Virgin surmounting the massive gate. At that moment the figure of Our Lady seemed radiant with a celestial beauty unnoticed by Margaret until then and invisible to all others. The heavenly face bent upon the startled girl a look of unutterable tenderness, a look which filled her heart with contempt for all earthly things.
The miraculous gaze of the Blessed Virgin soon faded, but her heart could not shake what happened.
Later in life she wrote about the experience, “The impression received on that occasion so touched and transformed me that I no longer knew myself and the change in me was soon apparent to all from that moment. I gave up every amusement, retired from the world and dedicated my life to the service of God.”
The event profoundly changed her life and prepared her for a heroic life of sanctity.