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A little bit of history: June 8 – Anniversary of the Death of Bishop Ignace Bourget – 2nd Bishop of Montreal

Bishop Ignace Bourget was born in St-Joseph de Lévis, on October 30, 1799, while Mother Emilie Tavernier Gamelin was born in Montreal on February 19, 1800. Bishop Bourget really was a contemporary of our Blessed Foundress.

Ignace had just been ordained a deacon when Bishop Jean-Jacques Lartigue, new Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec City in Montreal, chose him as secretary in 1821. On November 30, 1822, Ignace Bourget received his priestly ordination from Bishop Lartigue.  On March 10, 1837, he was named Bishop of Telmesse and coadjutor of Mgr Lartigue.  Ignace Bourget was ordained Bishop on July 25, 1837, and, upon the death of Bishop Lartigue, Bourget succeeded him as the second Bishop of Montreal.

Therefore, Bishop Ignace Bourget really was a contemporary of Emilie Gamelin, he knew her when she was a girl, later a wife and mother of three, then a widow who had lost everything: children and husband. He saw her become a “strong woman” who did not weep over her misfortunes, but followed the example of Our Mother of Sorrows and turned to all human misery, adopting it, and giving herself unselfishly to bring relief to the suffering.

Considering all the good that was carried out at Providence House and hearing about the reputation of compassionate charity of his devoted parishioner, it is not surprising that Bishop Bourget thought about ensuring the continuity of this charitable work by entrusting it to the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Providence confirmed the dream of Bishop Bourget, but in a very different way… because “God’s ways are not our ways…” And not to forget that “all goes right for those who love God.”

After administering the diocese from 1840 through 1876, Bishop Bourget retired at the Residence St-Janvier, which was administered by the Sisters of Providence; it is also where he passed away on June 8, 1885.

May he continue to watch over the first community he founded on March 25, 1843, and through his intercession, being about the canonization of Emilie Gamelin, whom he supported on her path, and whom he praised after of her death, on September 24, 1851.

Ref. Notes historiques by Mother Marie-Antoinette, 1922

“The more you remember Mother Gamelin, the more you live her spirit… »

Bishop Ignace Bourget, September 4 1876, 25th anniversary of Mother Gamelin’s death

Sister Yvette Demers, SP, Vice Postulator of the Cause of Emilie Gamelin