Venerable Marcelle Mallet


Marcelle Mallet was born in Côte-des-Neiges (now Montreal) on March 26, 1805. At the age of five, she lost her father when he was only 34 years old. Following his death, her mother sent her to an uncle in Lachine to attend the school of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame de Montréal, where she made her First Communion in 1817. At the age of 16, she announced to her family that she wanted to become a nun. On May 6, 1824, Marcelle, at the age of 19, entered the Sisters of Charity of Montreal at the General Hospital as a novice and pronounced her vows two years later. On April 1, 1845, Sister Mallet was elected to the position of assistant.

In May 1849, Bishop Pierre-Flavien Turgeon asked the Sisters of Charity of Montreal to take charge of the orphanage of the Catholic Ladies’ Charity of Quebec. The foundation was entrusted to Marcelle, aged 44, accompanied by four young professed sisters and a novice. They arrived on August 22, 1849 and took care of the orphanage for girls, opened classes, welcomed elderly ladies, organized home care for the sick and founded an orphanage for boys. In 1854, they separated from the Sisters of Charity of Montreal and became an independent congregation.

In 1863 the Bishop of Quebec, Charles-François Baillargeon, imposed new rules drawn up by the Jesuit Antoine-Nicolas Braun and inspired by the constitutions of the Society of Jesus. Mother Mallet and many of her companions wanted to keep the Sulpician spirit of the French school of spirituality. In the elections of 1866, the foundress was not re-elected. She died on April 9, 1871. She was recognized as venerable on January 27, 2014 by Pope Francis. Her tomb is located at 2655, Guillaume-Le Pelletier street, Québec (QC).