On October 16, the Church in Canada celebrates the life and witness of Saint Marguerite d'Youville, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (Grey Nuns).
Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais was born in Varennes, Quebec, on October 15, 1701. On August 12, 1722, she married François Youville de la Découverte. He died in 1730, leaving Marguerite, who was pregnant for the sixth time, with two living children and considerable debt. In 1737, she rented a house in Montreal where she gave hospitality to women in need. She and three companions made private religious vows. In 1747, Marguerite was put in charge of the administration of the Charon Brothers Hospital. When her term was up in 1750, she wrote to France for help and offered to pay the hospital's debts. The King, Louis XV, confirmed her as director of the hospital on June 3, 1753, and authorized her to form a religious community which was approved by the Most Reverend Henri-Marie de Pontbriand, then Bishop of Quebec, in 1755.
On December 9 and 13, 1771, she suffered two attacks of paralysis and died on December 23. She was canonized on December 9, 1990, by Pope (now Saint) John Paul II. >> read more
Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270.
The Origin of St. Valentine
The origin of St. Valentine, and how many St. Valentines there were, remains a mystery. One opinion is that he was a Roman martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Other historians hold that St. Valentine was a temple priest jailed for defiance during the reign of Claudius. Whoever he was, Valentine really existed because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom. >> read more at Catholic Online
Valentine's Day offers lots of opportunities to do something as a family. Visit Catholic Icing for some neat ideas including Saint Valentine paper bag puppet - your kids will love it.