The first reading from mass today, celebrated at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, set a tone for the day as my aunt and I followed in Saint Marguerite d’Youville’s footsteps. Second Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12 inspires us to live by a different model than the world upholds. Saint Marguerite too did not ascribe to the values of her time, but rather showed great love and compassion to the least of these whom she came across.
That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands. God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control. God seems to have given Saint Marguerite an extra portion of the spirit of power and love. She seems to have fanned into a flame the gift that God gave her to use for the greater good of this world.
Mid-morning we went out to her birthplace of Varennes, where her remains are now housed in Saint Anne’s Basilica. We had the opportunity to pray there for my healing and the needs of our family. It was a beautiful moment and I felt great peace as I silently knelt before her tomb. On one of the pieces of literature about Saint Marguerite are these words: She will help you if you pray to her. Marguerite spent her life reaching out to all those in need. When Pope John the XXXIII beatified her in 1959 he called her the Mother of Universal Charity. Overcoming many challenges and obstacles in her life, she continued to work to provide for those in most need, trusting that God would be of great help. As in the first reading, she knew that she needed to share in hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God.
She knows what it is like to be in desperate need and so to pray for her intercession makes sense in this day and these times. She knew then how to care for those in need and she can still relate through her heart of compassion to us in this present time. Pray through our first Canadian-born saint for all that weighs heavy on your heart.
What saint do you pray to when you need intercessory help?
How do you fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess?
Saint Marguerite d’Youville, thank you for the model of living compassionately here on earth. May we follow in your footsteps of faith, love, and service of all those in need whom we encounter along the way. May we fan into a flame the gift that God has given each one of us for the greater good. Amen.