Marguerite Bays was born on 8 September 1815 at La Pierraz de Siviriez in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. When she was eight years old she received Confirmation and at 11 her First Communion. Around age 15, she was apprenticed as a seamstress, a trade she practiced all her life. Having set aside the possibility of consecration in religious life, Marguerite preferred to remain single, dedicating herself to her family and her parish.
Every day Marguerite attended Holy Mass, the most important moment of her day. On Sundays, she never failed to spend time in adoration, to contemplate the Way of the Cross and to recite the Rosary. With great zeal she dedicated herself to religious education both of children, teaching them the catechism and forming them in the religious and moral life, and of young girls, preparing them for their future as wives and mothers. In 1853, at the age of 35, she underwent an operation for intestinal cancer. Dismayed by the type of care required, she begged the Virgin Mary to heal her or allow her to suffer in such a way that she could share in Jesus’ Passion. Her prayer was answered on 8 December 1854, the very day on which Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. From that day forward. Marguerite’s life was linked to the suffering Christ. The five wounds of Christ Crucified appeared on her body at three o’clock every Friday afternoon, and for all of Holy Week, Marguerite relived the sufferings of Jesus from Gethsemane to Calvary. In accordance with her desire, she died on the feast of the Sacred Heart, 27 June 1879. She was beatified by John Paul II on 29 October 1995.
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