Blessed Maria Anna Sureau Blondin

blessed-maria-anna-sureau-blondin-jan-21Blessed Anna Maria Sureau Blondin, Founder
Terrebonne (Quebec), Canada, April 18, 1809 – Lachine, Canada, January 2, 1890

Roman Martyrology: In the city of Lachine in Quebec in Canada, blessed Marianna (Maria Stella) Soureau-Blondin, virgin: She remained illiterate until the age of youth, founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne for the education of children of peasants, offering her service as an excellent model for the youth educator.

Blessed One of the great American state of Canada is Maria Esther Blondin Sureau, was born in Terrebonne in the province of Quebec on April 18, 1809, her father was a farmer and her mother a housewife, was the firstborn of a very Catholic family of 12 children. She spent childhood and adolescence at home, receiving an education and training from her parents, given the lack of Catholic schools of the French language, in a state that 50 years had passed under the English and Protestant rule. At 20, in 1829, she entered the service of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre-Dame, who had recently placed a Terrebonne, demanding wage to learn how to read and write; in 1832 she was admitted to the novitiate this congregation, but was rejected for physical weakness and disease.

She spent a period of treatment and rest at home and then became assistant teacher of the Catholic elementary school in the village of Vaudreuil, in 1838 becoming director of the school and years following was geared to found a religious congregation for the education of children and December 8, 1850 Maria Ester Soureau-Blondin, taking the name Maria Anna, along with a first group of nuns, took her vows in front of the bishop of Montreal, Ignatius Bourget, initiating the new congregation of Sisters of St. Anna.

The beginnings of this young institution were difficult due to great poverty, in 1853 the Mother House was opened in Saint-Jacques de l’Achigan and Bishop Bourget appointed as chaplain the young priest Louis-Adolphe Maréchal, who in less than a year had taken command of the Congregation and in 1854 dismissed the founder and superior general, Sister Anna Maria, giving away the post of superior of a small community in Sainte-Geneviève.Despite the remoteness, many nuns, formed by Sister Anna Maria, were in contact with her which was not tolerated by the chaplain, who got the bishop to make them stop.

To her great teacher and founder, was entrusted with the most humble tasks, such as door, head of linen of the sisters, Sacristan, carried out in 36 years Properties posed in various cities. The latter period of her life, is a living witness of faith and a great force of will, in the midst of misunderstandings; example of loving submission to the will of God, respect for authority, kindness and service to all, humility and self-denial.

She accepted her dismissal by offering her life for the good of the congregation, which apparently was accepted by God, in 1884 she had the approval from Rome and in 1890 there were 428 religious engaged in teaching and employed in the care of sick people in 43 homes Quebec, Canada Colombia, the United States and Alaska.

In the fall of 1889 Mother Anna Maria fell ill from severe bronchitis, on the night she wanted to attend Christmas Mass in the great chapel of the Motherhouse, which caused her disease to become worse; she died on January 2, in Lachine.

On January 7, 1977 her cause for beatification was introduced, March 14 1991 she was granted the title of venerable and April 29, 2001 was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Piazza S. Peter’s in Rome.

Author: Antonio Borrelli

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

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