St. Marguerite D’Youville and St. Stanislaus ~ the Lowell Connection

 St. Marguerite D’Youville

As last year we remind you that today April 11 is the Feast Day of Saint Marguerite D’Youville. The fruits of her works and the work of her sisters are quite well-known in the Lowell area today. Locally, the highly regarded D’Youville Senior Care whose entire heathcare campus on Varnum Avenue in Lowell will now be known as the D’Youville Life & Wellness Community was founded in 1960 by  Sisters of Charity of Ottawa – spiritual daughters of  Marguerite D’Youville.

From my earlier post…

Today – April 11 – is the Feastday of  Saint Marguerite d’ Youville (1701-1771), a French Canadian widow who founded the religious order – the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal – commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal. Founded to give shelter to the poor, the Grey Nuns later took over the operations of the General Hospital in Montreal. She died in Montreal on December 23, and since her death, the Grey Nuns have established schools, hospitals, and orphanages throughout Canada, the United States, Africa, and South America, and are especially known for their work among the Eskimos.

Marguerite  had a vision of caring for the poor that has spread far and wide. Her sisters have served on almost every continent. Today, her mission is carried on by the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, “Grey Nuns” and their sister communities: the Sisters of Charity of St. Hyacinthe, the Sisters of Charity at Ottawa, the Sisters of Charity of Quebec, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart (Philadelphia) and the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (Pembroke).

A large number of Roman Catholic churches, schools, women’s shelters, charity shops, and other institutions in Canada and worldwide are named after St. Marguerite D’Youville including  the academic institution of higher learning –  D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY.

Calling her the  “Mother of Universal Charity” – Pope John XXIII beatified Marguerite on May 3, 1959 and then in 1990 Marguerite D’Youville – the first native Canadian to be elevated to sainthood – was canonized by Pope John-Paul II of the Roman Catholic Church.

For more information about Margurite D’Youville link here.

   Saint Stanislaus of Szczepanów

Today April 11 is also the Feast Day of St. Stanislaus  for whom there is also much local devotion especially with the parishioners of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church on High Street in Lowell. For many years the parish sponsored a highly regarded Catholic elementary school named for St. Stanislaus that closed in 2004.  As with Marguerite D’Youville, he is the first native of his country – Poland – to be canonized.

Stanislaus of Szczepanów, or Stanisław Szczepanowski – born July 26, 1030 and died on April 11, 1079- was a Bishop of Kraków known chiefly for having been martyred by the Polish king Bolesław II the Bold. Stanislaus is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Stanislaus the Martyr. Stanisław was one of the earliest native Polish bishops. He also became a ducal advisor and had some influence on Polish politics.

Known for his outspokenness, he aimed his attacks at the evils of the peasantry and the king, especially the unjust wars and immoral acts of King Boleslaus II.The king first excused himself, then made a show of penance, then relapsed into his old ways.Stanislaus continued his open opposition in spite of charges of treason and threats of death, finallexcommunicating the king. The latter, enraged, ordered soldiers to kill the bishop. When they refused, the king killed him with his own hands.

Stanisław’s story has a parallel in the murder, nine decades later, in 1170, of Thomas Becket by henchmen of England’s King Henry II. As the first native Polish saint, Stanisław is the patron of Poland and Kraków. The framers of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, dedicated this progressive political document to Saint Stanisław Szczepanowski, whose feast day falls close to the date of the Constitution’s adoption.

Read more about St. Stanilaua here.