Sister Madeleine Marleau
“My soul magnifies the Lord!” Luke 1:46
January 2, 2012, Sister Madeleine Marleau,
in religion Maria-du-Divin-Cœur, went home to God.
She was 97 years old and had been professed for 70 years.
Born in Lachine, Quebec, she was the 2nd of 5 children of Henri Marleau and Anita St-Jean.
Madeleine first studied with the Sisters of Saint Anne and then went to the boarding school at St-Lin where her SNJM aunt was the superior. She later attended l’école Normale de Valleyfield after which she went back to the SSA’s.
Although she had felt the call to religious life at a very young age, she wanted to do various types of work. She taught in an orphanage administered by the Grey Nuns, supervised children at the “Crèche d’Youville” (a foundling home) and was receptionist at the Sisters of Providence… At the age of 24, she made her vocational choice: a teaching sister with the SNJM’s.
For 30 years, Sister Maria-du-Divin-Cœur taught grades one through seven at the primary level in our boarding schools on the South Shore and in the Eastern Townships. She spoke about it in this way:
“I taught for 34 years. It was the most wonderful time of my life. I was disciplined, punctual, methodical and I aimed to be perfect in everything I did. I give thanks to the One who gave everything to me.”
At 57 years of age, Sister Madeleine took courses in hairdressing and sewing. In this way, she was able to be of service to her Sisters for about ten years, before becoming switchboard operator at our Motherhouse. She then retired to the Ste-Émélie residence.
The last ten years of her life were spent at the infirmary. Throughout her entire life, Sister Madeleine had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart and to his Mother. With Mary, she is now singing her Magnificat.