In her words

The Archives of The Grey Nuns of Montreal contain many of the letters written by Marguerite d’Youville since she kept copies of the letters she sent. One part of the letters is the epistolary evidence of the famous quarrel she had with Intendant Bigot, who wanted to close the General Hospital of Montreal and move the residents to Quebec City.

Throughout her letters, Marguerite defended her Hospital with great intelligence and determination. She replied to all the arguments put forward by Bigot, who was contesting the amount of money spent on the renovations for the maintenance of the boarders. One can feel her skill as an administrator and her determination to save her work.

Letter to Intendant Bigot:

“You do me the honour, Sir, to remark that I should have the fields sown before turning them over to the sisters of Quebec City. I can assure you that when I came here I found no fields sown nor a single furrow of fallow land ploughed. It is I who had the ploughing and sowing done. Therefore, Sir, I am bound to leave things only as I found them.”
16 February 1751

Another part of the letters is addressed to her bursars in France who were trying to recover the money lent to the King during the War of Conquest. She also wrote to members of her family who had returned to France. There is a great deal of humanity in her words.

Letter to her niece Josephte Gamelin:

“Let us hear the news of yourself and your dear daughters. The only consolation we have in our having been abandoned by France is to have news of our friends.”
23 July 1763

It is through her letters that one gets a better sense of her spirituality and her compassion for the poor:

“O Lord, my poverty is extreme. I have no worldly goods to give away, but I shall give myself, my time, and my work. I shall sow but a little, it is true, but your mercy will make of that little an infinite harvest.” 1727

“The Divine Father has been the object of all my trust for nearly forty years.”
12 October 1766

“Providence is wonderful, it has means we cannot understand to relieve those who put their trust in it, it provides for everything, in it is my trust.”
17 October 1768

“Blessed be God! Divine Providence provides for everything; all my trust is in it.”
21 September 1771

Sometimes, she felt a little overwhelmed by events, but she was never discouraged.

“There is a great deal of good we could do if we had anything. Every day poor people who are truly in need come to us. We do not have any more room to accommodate them, and it is with a heavy heart that I turn them away, but I have to do so. […] Had I known where I could get [the amount needed] without stealing it, I could have quickly erected a building that would accommodate close to two hundred, but I have nothing.”  
22 September 1769