Biography: Marie de l'Incarnation
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Biography: Marie de l'Incarnation
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Biography: Marie de l'Incarnation
Biography: Marie de l'Incarnation
Marie de l'Incarnation, whose real name was Marie Guyard, was born in Tours in 1599.
Marie de L'Incarnation obeyed a call from God to convert the natives of New France. (As portrayed by Paule Baillargeon in Canada: A People's History)
Marie de L'Incarnation obeyed a call from God to convert the natives of New France. (As portrayed by Paule Baillargeon in Canada: A People's History)
She was the first Mother Superior of the Ursuline convent of New France.

A widow at the age of 32 with a 13 year old son, she decided to take the veil. She entrusted her son Claude to her sister, and took the name of Marie de l'Incarnation.

"One morning in 1631, my son was resigned to come with me. Walking with me, he made no mention of his affliction, but I could see the tears in his eyes. I felt as my soul being torn out of me, that I was being rent in two. But I allowed no emotion as God was dearer to me than all of that. And, leaving him to her hands, I laughed as I bade him farewell."

For eight years, she heard God's call in her dreams:

"There were great spaces, and in these spaces, a church enveloped in mists.
Marie de L'Incarnation was one of the first women missionaries in New France. (As portrayed by Paule Baillargeon in Canada: A People's History
Marie de L'Incarnation was one of the first women missionaries in New France. (As portrayed by Paule Baillargeon in Canada: A People's History)
From the place in which we were there, there was a road to go down; it was exceedingly dangerous because of having terrible rocks on one side and awful and unguarded precipices on the other. The afflicted place I had seen was New France. I felt a very great inward attraction in that direction and an order to go there to build a house for Jesus and Mary. I was in consequence so keenly possessed that I gave my consent to Our Lord, and promised to obey him".

Responding to this call from God, she embarked for New France in 1639 with the plan to convert young Indians, leaving her son behind. She left with other Sisters of the Ursuline and Hospitaliere orders. A wealthy patroness also accompanied them, whose name was Madame Chauvigny de la Peltrie.

The crossing took three months.
Marie de l'Incarnation wrote: "I barely slept during the entire crossing. The pangs of my aching head were so severe that, short of dying, they could not have been worse. All aboard were ill due to the constant tempests. May God be blessed for the mercies He bestowed upon me during that time!"

On August 1, 1639, they arrived in Quebec. They were the first women missionaries in North America.

For several years, she corresponded with her son. She died in Quebec in 1672, without ever returning to her homeland. Her lengthy correspondence was a mixture of mystical writings and very enlightening accounts on life during the early days of the St.
Lawrence colony.

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Mother Marie de l'Incarnation (in French only)

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