Emilie Tavernier Gamelin of Montreal, Quebec.
It is said that as early as age three Emilie took after her mother's charitable nature and she gave up her own food for a beggar that appeared at the family home, as she was moved to tears by his suffering.
Much like her friend and protege Mother Joseph, she repeatedly felt God's Providence work throughout her life:
The Angel of the Poor Visits Patriot Prisoners in Montreal.
Asile de Providence and "the Work of the Soup" to Feed the Poor.
During the Irish famine of 1847, many people immigrated to the United States and Canada only to die of cholera by the thousands during passage. Mother Gamelin received over 650 children orphaned by the epidemic in Montreal, raising several herself. She also established day schools, boarding schools, shelters and places dedicated to the care of persons with mental illness and a school for those with hearing impairments.
Emilie's Life as a Lesson in Self-Care.
In the middle of the night on September 23, 1851, Mother Gamelin awakened her dear friend, confidante, and roommate Sister Joseph of the Sacred Heart saying, "I have the cholera. I am going to die." She had also had an earlier premonition of her own death on her last trip, remarking to her companions, "It feels like cholera weather." She died just 12 hours later, a devastated Sister Joseph acting as her nurse and weeping at her bedside. Her last words to her Sisters were: “Humility, simplicity, chari…” (ty). Part of her epitaph read: She hath considered a field and bought it; with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard.
It is interesting that SJ's birthday, September 22, is the last "happy" day Gamelin and Mother Joseph spent together.
It was a lesson that both of us have thought about a lot ever since. We look forward to visiting Montreal and paying our respects to Emilie at the Sisters of Providence Museum in the future. The kind Sisters of Providence in Montreal that SJ has corresponded with for research have sent us Emilie Gamelin relic medals and offered us a personal tour of Emilie's Tomb at the Museum. The Museum is near the site of the original Providence Motherhouse (an area now called "Place Emilie-Gamelin") that was sadly torn down on August 14, 1963 for the construction of the Montreal Berri-UQAM Metro Station on site.
Blessed Emilie Gamelin - One Step From Sainthood.
Also in 1983, a 13-year-old boy named Yannick Fréchette was observed to make a surprising recovery from leukemia following prayer directed to Mother Émilie Gamelin.
The medical file relating to this case was submitted to doctors in Rome, and in 1999 those doctors unanimously declared Fréchette's recovery to be a miracle, attributable to the intercession of Gamelin. The healing was formally acknowledged as an authentic miracle by Pope John Paul II on 18 December 2000. The declaration of a miracle enabled Gamelin to meet the requirements for beatification, the third of the four stages of sainthood, and on 7 October 2001 Pope John Paul II beatified her. As a result of her beatification, Gamelin received the title "Blessed", and public veneration to her was authorized by the Roman Catholic Church in areas associated with her."