Religious Sister and Educator (1840-1881)
+ Élisabeth was born in Beaumont, Quebec, Canada, and was a pious child. Following her graduation from Quebec’s Laval Normal School in 1862, she worked as a teacher in several village schools.
+ In 1875, at the invitation of the bishop of Rimouski, she joined the Sisters of the Little Schools and professed religious vows in 1879. She was known in religious life as Marie-Élisabeth.
+ Marie-Élisabeth formed a new religious community known as the Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary. She wrote textbooks for her sisters to use in their classes and, today, the sisters are also involved in adult education and serve in a number locations, including Newfoundland, Honduras, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Lebanon.
+ Blessed Marie-Élisabeth Turgeon died in 1881, at the age of forty-one, and was beatified in 2015.
On August 17, the Church also remembers the heroic witness of Blessed Noël-Hilaire Le Conte, a musician and priest of the diocese of Bourges, France, who was among those left to die on the prison ships moored near Rochefort, France, during the anti-Catholic persecutions of the French Revolution. Blessed Noël-Hilaire was beatified with other martyrs of the “Hulks of Rochefort” in 1995.
“With Christ’s protection, a spider web can be stronger than a brick wall without his protection, a brick wall can be as flimsy as a spider’s web.”—Blessed Marie-Élisabeth Turgeon
O God, who raised up blessed Marie-Élisabeth in your Church to show others the way of salvation, grant us, by his (her) example, so to follow Christ the master, that we may come with our neighbor into your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For an Educator)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here