Sister Juliette Messier
“Even in old age, they still bear fruit.” (Ps. 92:15)
On May 23, 2022, Sister Juliette Messier,
in religion M.-Anna-du-Sauveur,
went home to God
She was 106 years old, with 85 years of religious profession.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the 9th or 10th
of the 11 children born to Arthur Messier and Anna Allaire.
Juliette grew up in the Hochelaga borough of Montréal. She said that she and her twin sister were loved and cherished. Her father was a merchant and her mother was a musician. Family Rosary was a daily devotion. Juliette attended Stadacona School, directed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, followed by the Pedagogical Institute directed by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame.
“I became conscious of my vocation to religious life when I was still young. Accustomed to prayer and to daily Mass, I heard the call that became increasingly persistent within me. At the age of 19, I entered the SNJM Congregation, dreaming of becoming a great educator and a very learned woman.”
For eight years, Sister Anna-du-Sauveur, which was the name given to her when she received the Holy Habit, taught 5th, 7th and 8th grades at Saint Clement School. When she was 29 years old, she was diagnosed with then inoperable otosclerosis which forced her to give up her teaching career.
“My world seemed to have collapsed. I was overwhelmed and shook in anguish. I was missioned to the Motherhouse where, after acquiring the necessary competence, I assumed full responsibility for the medical laboratory. Conscious of the importance of my new responsibilities, I dedicated myself totally to the task.”
Sister Juliette had strong spiritual values and served faithfully as a lab technician for 23 years. Then, due to advances in the medical field, she found out that her condition was operable and that she could regain her hearing. This very sociable woman could again work in situations demanding verbal interaction with others! What joy she experienced when she was put in charge of the students at Eulalie-Durocher Teachers’ College, and later when groups of Sisters needed her. Sister Juliette gladly accepted to be the superior or community animator at Verchères, Valleyfield, Outremont, Edouard-Montpetit, and Isabella Convents, for a total of 22 years, up to the time reached 77 years of age. At that time, still available and healthy, she was called to minister in the Marie-Rose Centre and the library at the Motherhouse.
At 90 years of age, Sister Juliette was welcomed into Maison Jésus-Marie. This energetic perfectionist was appreciated wherever she went. As one companion noted, “I admired the depth of your spirit, your discretion, and your great generosity.” When she celebrated her 100th birthday, Juliette wrote: “It is so wonderful now to have the time to pray and read. I magnify the Lord in every expression of his will for me. He has been and remains my companion along the way. He animates my life here as I await the fullness of life, with my God for eternity.” Juliette was 106 years of age when she went to meet the God of her life face to face.