Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


A French noblewoman, and foundress, born at Caen, 1603; died at Quebec, 18 November, 1671. In spite of her monastic inclinations, she was forced to wed, at seventeen, Charles de la Peltrie, who died five years later. After ten years of widowhood spent in piety and almsdeeds, Lejeune's "Relation" awakened in her soul an ardent desire for the Canadian mission, which she strove to accomplish notwithstanding fresh opposition from her father. To overcome this, while seemingly complying with her parent's wish to see her remarried, it was arranged that the saintly de Bernière Louvigny would ask her hand, leaving her free to pursue her generous design. Her father's death intervening, the union was cancelled, though her friend espoused the realization of her plans, duly approved by de Condren and St. Vincent de Paul . She corresponded with the Venerable Marie de l'Incarnation, who recognized her as the soul providentially destined to second her zeal. They reached Quebec, 1 August, 1639, and began together a life of privations and merits inseparable from the rude condition of the colony and the savage nature of their wards. Madame de la Peltrie's charity exerted itself at Sillery, where she stood sponsor for many a dark neophyte. Her intimacy with Jeanne Mance, Maisonneuve and the other prospective founders of Ville Marie, during the first winter spent near Quebec (1641-42), prompted her to follow them to Montreal, where she was the first communicant at the first Mass celebrated by Father Vimont, S.J. (1642). Deterred from her apparently eccentric plan of visiting the Huron missions, she finally returned to Quebec after an absence of eighteen months, and devoted herself and her fortune wholly and irrevocably to the work of Marie de l'Incarnation. In spite of her entreaties she was never formally admitted to the novitiate, but led the humble and austere life of a true religious, scrupulously following every detail of the observances, and reaching a high degree of contemplative prayer. Governor Courcelles, Intendant Talon, the Indians, and the poor attended her funeral. Besides contributing to the foundation of the Ursuline monastery, she had inaugurated in Quebec, the admirable mission of charity for women of society.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:1-9
1 Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord -- that is what ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13, 13-14
10 All your creatures shall thank you, Yahweh, and your faithful shall ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:22-30
22 Through towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 26th, 2016 Image

St. Bean
October 26: On December 16, there is named in the Roman ... Read More