Religion: Marguerite d'Youville

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Marguerite d'Youville
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In 1737, Marguerite d'Youville (Herstory 1976) and three companions shocked Montreal society by dedicating their lives to the poor. The Hospital General, a hostel for the destitute, admitted only men; Marguerite took poor women into her home. In 1747 she was allowed to take over the administration of the Hospital General--including its large debt. Marguerite and her companions restored the buildings, and provided a combination veteran's hospital, nursing home, orphanage, mental asylum, VD clinic, reformatory for prostitutes, and overflow ward in case of epidemics. At the same time, they erased the Hospital's debts by sewing everything from lingerie to tents, selling building materials, and managing a cartage business. The order Marguerite established was the Grey Nuns; they continue her work to this day.


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