Community of Saint Marie of the Incarnation
Saint John the Baptist Convent
300 Wilson Street
Peterborough ON K9J 1T2 Canada
Serving in the Diocese of Peterborough.
Our mission here began in December, 2010. Currently, we collaborate in various aspects of parish work at St. John the Baptist and Sacred Heart, both IVE parishes.
Our main works of evangelization are the following:
- Work with the Youth: We organize a children’s oratory after school on Fridays and occasional youth events in the parish.
- Visit the Sick: We accompany the sick and the elderly of the parish community.
- Parish Duties: We also assist in the preparation of the liturgy, caring for the sacristy, and secretarial work in the parishes.
- School Visits: We visit the school on a weekly basis to give talks to the children.
- Catechism: We organize the children’s and adult’s catechism programs for both parishes.
Our Patroness | Saint Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672)
Marie Guyart was born in Tours, France on October 28, 1599. Although she desired to enter religious life, her parents gave her in marriage to Claude Martin in 1617. She became a mother in April, 1619, and lost her husband in the same year, after only two years of marriage. She then dedicated herself to working to pay off her husband’s debts and to caring for Simon, their young son.
In 1631, after entrusting her son as a young adolescent to the care of his aunt, she entered the community of the Ursulines de Tours because she felt that God had a new plan for her. Within religious life, she experienced another call which was accompanied by mystical visions of an unknown wilderness which she discerned later to be the forests of New France, later known as Canada.
On August 1, 1639, she arrived in New France to begin the mission of the Ursulines. The goal of this mission in New France was to evangelize and educate the young French and Amerindian children. Marie of the Incarnation not only lead her religious community amidst the great hardships of the colonial period, but also so mastered the new languages of the indigenous as to write a French-Iroquois dictionary as well as catechisms in various native languages. She died on April 30, 1672, following a brief illness. The extraordinary life of this woman, who founded the Ursuline community in New France, is known to us today thanks to her voluminous correspondence with her son (who became a Benedictine), as well as to her autobiography that she wrote for him as well.
Marie of the Incarnation was beatified on June 22, 1980, Pope John Paul II; she was canonized by Pope Francis in 2014. The role that she played in the evangelization of the colony, her determination and her ability to overcome the difficulties she faced in New France make her a true example of perseverance.