Birth in 1809 of Mélodie Dufresne (mother Marie-Agnès)

Mélodie Dufresne was born in Beloeil on November 9, 1809. This faithful companion of Eulalie Durocher (Mother Marie-Rose) for some ten years at the Beloeil presbytery, immediately accepted Mgr Bourget’s invitation to go to Longueuil to found a religious congregation dedicated to teaching with her friend Eulalie and a teacher already there, Henriette Céré (Mother Marie-Madeleine).

The ornaments on this white chasuble were made by Mother Marie-Agnès. Source S0003 — Service des archives SNJM

When she and her two companions made their vows on December 8, 1844, Mélodie Dufresne took the name Sister Marie-Agnès.

This woman of undeniable artistic talent took on many roles, including training students in domestic and decorative arts. She had an eye for beauty and great sensitivity. The premature death of Mother Marie-Rose in 1849 hit her hard. She found strength and hope in God, and kept alive the spirit of the foundress until her death on December 22, 1881, at the age of 72.

Mother Marie-Agnès produced many works of art, including priestly vestments preserved in the SNJM archives, floral arrangements and original objects on display at the Centre Marie-Rose. You can read a summary of her biography on the page dedicated to the pioneers of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM).