30 April, Marie de l’Incarnation

Marie de l’Incarnation

Martyr and Patron Saint of England

30 April

(28 October 1599 – 30 April 1672)

Commemoration (White)

Marie de l'Incarnation — Wikipédia

Marie de l’Incarnation was a member of the Ursuline Order who arrived at Quebec City in 1639. She had come in obedience to a vision which told her “to go to Canada to build a house for Jesus and Mary.” Over the next thirty years she fulfilled this task by setting up a school for young women of all races, and by establishing the first self-governing congregation of nuns in Canada.

Marie possessed many practical talents, and they were put to the test many times — when the Iroquois war reached the very walls of her convent; when the convent itself was completely destroyed by fire; when merchants tried to cheat her; and when the first bishop in New France tried to tell her that he knew better than she did what was best for nuns living in the wilderness. In all these trials Marie displayed courage, intelligence, an unshakable sense of divine purpose, and even a sense of humour.

But she was more than a good administrator. She was also gifted with mystical visions which revealed to her the loving relations within the most holy Trinity; and all her life she struggled to translate her interior experiences into care for others, so that they might share in the same love to which her visions pointed.

Marie knew the cost of loving Christ above all else. As a young widow in France, she had given up her only child, an eleven-year-old boy, in order to follow her vocation as a nun. The pain of that separation remained with her, though she was certain that she had acted in obedience to God’s will for her. Her son eventually became a monk himself, and they kept in touch by writing to one another back and forth across the Atlantic. Marie came to feel that she had been given back to her son on a level which would not have been possible if she had not followed her vocation.

And so, we honour Marie de l’Incarnation not only as a founder of the Church in Canada, but also as a mystic who possessed the gifts of a true spiritual mother, able to nurture her own son and the children of New France in the ways of the love of Christ.[1]

[1] Text by Stephen Reynolds, For All the Saints.


Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken away from her.  Luke 10.42


Almighty God,
who by your grace surrounds us
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
may we, encouraged by the example of your servant Marie,
persevere and run the race you set before us,
until at last, through your mercy,
we with her attain to your eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
the author and perfecter of our faith,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.



Jeremiah 1.2–12

2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

Jeremiah’s Call and Commission

4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”

7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.

8 Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”

9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth.

10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,

to pluck up and to pull down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.”

11 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

Psalm 66.7–12

7 Bless our God, you peoples; *
make the voice of his praise to be heard;

8 Who holds our souls in life, *
and will not allow our feet to slip.

9 For you, O God, have proved us; *
you have tried us just as silver is tried.

10 You brought us into the snare; *
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.

11 You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water; *
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.

12 I will enter your house with burnt-offerings
and will pay you my vows, *
which I promised with my lips
and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: * 
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

John 15.14–17

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Concluding Collect 

God of mercy,
who called and strengthened your servant Marie
in visions and the mystery of prayer
to nurture your people in New France,
grant us so to cherish her example
that we may not rest until we have done your will,
and never cease from prayer
until this age passes over to your kingdom
and we behold your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Links for Further Reading

Wikipedia:  Marie de L’Incarnation  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_of_the_Incarnation_(Ursuline)

Canadian Encyclopedia:  Marie de L’Incarnation  https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/marie-de-lincarnation


Unless otherwise noted, all extracted material come from the following publications: 

Anglican Church of Canada. For all the Saints: prayers and readings for Saints’ days: a supplement to the Book of alternative services, revised, compiled by Stephen Reynolds, Anglican Book Centre, Toronto, 2007. 

Anglican Church of Canada. The book of alternative services of the Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Book Centre, Toronto, 1985.  

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized Edition, 1989, 1995. Accessed at http://bible.oremus.org/ 

* Readings & Prayers prepared by Kim Labelle