Sanctuary of Saint Marguerite d’Youville in Varennes
Situated on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, the Sanctuary of Saint Marguerite d'Youville is a site dedicated to the first Canadian born saint. It includes a permanent exhibition that recounts the expansion of Saint Marguerite’s charitable works, a funerary chapel in the Basilica of Saint Anne in which her Mortal Remains repose, and La Maison Grise (The Grey House) in Varennes, a welcome centre for pilgrims and a place where community aid is offered.
a) Chapel of Saint Marguerite d’Youville
The chapel dedicated to Marguerite d’Youville is located in the transept of the Basilica of Saint Anne of Varennes. The granite tomb is decorated with a spray of marguerite daisies in bronze. Claude Lafortune, the creator of the television show L’évangile en papier (The Gospel in paper) and a member of the diocese’s Committee on Sacred Art, helped with the artistic conception of the chapel. People can meditate at the tomb after Sunday Mass and throughout the summer or by reservation when volunteer guides welcome guests to the Basilica and the adjoining exhibition site.
b) Exhibition on “The Life and Work of Saint Marguerite d’Youville”, beside the Basilica of Saint Anne of Varennes
“The Life and Work of Saint Marguerite d’Youville”
When Saint Marguerite d’Youville was laid to rest in the Basilica of Saint Anne of Varennes in December 2010, the Sanctuary, located next to the church, became a center for the interpretation of the life and work of this remarkable woman.
The permanent exhibition presents Marguerite Dufrost de la Jemmerais, the Widow Youville, from her birth in Varennes in 1701 until her death in 1771. The very contemporary museological presentation is designed to explain and showcase the context of Marguerite d’Youville’s life, her thought, and her profound spirituality as well as the extraordinary charitable work that she created and continues to create among society’s marginalized people from the distant eighteenth century until today.
c) La Maison Grise in Varennes
La Maison Grise in Varennes has on the one hand a hall with an occupancy of 100 that can be used by pilgrims and by the parish and on the other hand food services for the poor operated by Volunteer Action, Varennes.