Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Short Cuts

Author and Publisher - Catholic Online

Image of Bl. Marguerite Bays


Birth: 1815

Death: 1879

Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Marguerite Bays was born the daughter of simple, pious farmers on 8 September 1815 in La Pierraz, Siviriez, near Fribourg, Switzerland. She was educated locally and worked as a dressmaker.

She spent all her life in her own neighbourhood. In her parish she was an exemplary committed lay person, especially dedicated to children and young girls. She also visited the sick and the dying with tireless ardour. She was a true friend of the poor, whom she called "God's favourites". She introduced missionary activities into the parish and contributed to founding the Catholic press at the time of the Kulturkampf.

She developed intestinal cancer at the age of 35 and asked Our Lady to intercede with her Son to exchange her suffering for the kind of pain that would enable her to share more directly in the Passion of Our Lord. She was miraculously cured on 8 December 1854 at the moment when Pius IX pronounced the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Instead, she had to bear a "mysterious affliction" which immobilized her in ecstasy every Friday when, physically and spiritually, she relived the phases of Jesus' passion from Gethesmane to Calvary. She also received the stigmata, like St Francis, which she did her best to hide.

Marguerite Bays put the greatest trust in prayer, the focus of her life, to which she had been inclined since childhood. She had deep love for Our Lady, whom she venerated by frequently reciting the Rosary and visiting her shrines. She also had immense love for Jesus in the Eucharist, before which she spent long hours in adoration. She lived constantly in God's presence. Thus she suffered from the sight of the weak faith she saw around her and prayed that it would be strengthened. Her focus on the eternal prevented her from being distracted by the pleasures of this world or by personal advantage of any kind. God was her greatest love. She deplored human indifference to him and insistently demanded: "What can we do to love God more?". Her constant concern to be centred on God made her profoundly humble. She felt she was the lowliest of creatures and a great sinner, and fought the self-love that dampened her ardour. She fled attention and always sought to hide the great marks of favour she had been granted.

Marguerite identified increasingly with the suffering of Jesus on the Cross. Happy to be called to follow him, she showed no sign of suffering and on the contrary "could be heard to utter words of adoration and submission to God's holy will". She died at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, 27 June 1879, absorbed in her love for the crucified Lord.

Biography Provided By:

Bl. Marguerite Bays Comments

More Saints

Browse Saints by Category

Popular Saints




Image of St. Stephen

St. Stephen

Stephen's name means "crown," and he was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. The apostles had found that ... continue reading


Image of St. Athanasius

St. Athanasius

St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith was born at Alexandria, about the year 296, of Christian parents. Educated under the eye of Alexander, later Bishop of his native city, he ... continue reading


Image of St. Abigail

St. Abigail

Irish abbess and disciple of St. Abban. When St. Abban founded a convent in Ballyvourney, County Cork, Ireland, Gobnata was placed in charge. A well there bears her name. continue reading

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. Pope John Paul II

St. Pope John Paul II

Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Female Saints

Image of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

With the lives of so many early martyrs shrouded in legend, we are fortunate to have the record of the courage of Perpetua and Felicity from the hand of Perpetua herself, her teacher Saturus, and others who knew them. This account, known as "The Martyrdom of Perpetua ... continue reading

More Female Saints

Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts


Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Cecilia Yu

St. Cecilia Yu

Cecilia Yu So-sa was born in Seoul, , in 1761. Cecilia was a married woman, her children were the Saints Hasang Paul Chong and Jung Hye. When Cecilia was widowed, she was deprived of all her possessions and imprisoned because of her Christian faith. Twelve times she ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Cloud

St. Cloud

On the death of Clovis, King of the Franks, in the year 511 his kingdom was divided between his four sons, of whom the second was Clodomir. Thirteen years later he was killed fighting against his cousin, Gondomar, leaving three sons to share his dominions. The youngest ... continue reading

Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of One of many icons of St. Ignatius of Antioch

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Model of Bravery, Man for our Times

By Billy Atwell

In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October 17, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch.  St. Ignatius of Antioch is a bishop and martyr of the Church who died in the year 107.  He was torn ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes


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 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2016 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his ... Read More