St. Benedict Joseph Labre
Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin
April 181809-1890, Quebec, Canada
Beatified in 2001 by Pope John Paul II
Parochial schoolteacher at Vaudreuil in 1833; later directress of the school, which was renamed the Blondin Academy. There she realized the reason for the widespread illiteracy in the area: girls could only be taught by women, boys only by men; parishes that could not afford two schools simply had none. In 1848 she sought permission to form a congregation that would teach boys and girls in the same school. It was a radical notion in its day, but had government support, and the bishop authorized a test site. The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne was founded in Vaudreuil on 8 September 1850 with Esther as first superior, taking the name of Marie-Anne.
"Model of a humble and hidden life, Marie-Anne Blondin found interior strength by contemplating the cross, showing us that the life of intimacy with Christ is the surest way to give fruits mysteriously and fulfill the mission willed by God." - Pope John Paul II at the beatification of Blessed Maria
Blessed Marie-Anne, pray for us!