OTD: Marguerite Bourgeoys returns to Montreal

On today’s date in 1659, Marguerite Bourgeoys returned to Montréal from France with French nurse Jeanne Mance.

The duo was accompanied by 62 men and 47 women—settlers who would found the Congrégation de Notre Dame of Montréal, which was the first religious order to originate in Canada (although at this time, this region in present-day Queébec was a colony of New France).

Born in France in 1620, Bourgeoys reportedly received a vision at the age of 20, inspiring her to devote her life to God.

She later came to New France to teach at the request of the governor of Montréal.


In 1975, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) commemorated Bourgeoys on an eight-cent stamp (Scott #660) as part of its “Canadian Personalities” issue.

Printed by Ashton-Potter, the stamp was designed by Jacques Roy and featured French artist Elmina Lachance’s 1900 painting titled Marguerite Bourgeoys.

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