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October 16

Saint of the day:

Saint Marguerite d'Youville


Saint Marguerite d’Youville’s Story

We learn compassion from allowing our lives to be influenced by compassionate people, by seeing life from their perspectives, and reconsidering our own values.

Born in Varennes, Canada, Marie Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais had to interrupt her schooling at the age of 12 to help her widowed mother. Eight years later she married François d’Youville; they had six children, four of whom died young. Despite the fact that her husband gambled, sold liquor illegally to Native Americans, and treated her indifferently, she cared for him compassionately until his death in 1730.

Even though she was caring for two small children and running a store to help pay off her husband’s debts, Marguerite still helped the poor. Once her children were grown, she and several companions rescued a Quebec hospital that was in danger of failing. She called her community the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal; the people called them the “Grey Nuns” because of the color of their habits. In time, a proverb arose among the poor people of Montreal, “Go to the Grey Nuns; they never refuse to serve.” In time, five other religious communities traced their roots to the Grey Nuns.

The General Hospital in Montreal became known as the Hôtel Dieu (House of God) and set a standard for medical care and Christian compassion. When the hospital was destroyed by fire in 1766, Mère Marguerite knelt in the ashes, led the Te Deum–a hymn to God’s providence in all circumstances–and began the rebuilding process. She fought the attempts of government officials to restrain her charity, and established the first foundling home in North America.

Pope Saint John XXIII, who beatified Mère Marguerite in 1959, called her the “Mother of Universal Charity.” She was canonized in 1990.






Marguerite d'Youville Sanctuary in Varennes, Canada







Maple Curry Pumpkin Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Serves 6 – 8


For the Soup:

  • 1 large pie pumpkin

  • 1 large apple, diced

  • 3 cups chicken stock

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp diced cilantro stems

  • 1 tbsp curry powder

  • 1 tsp chili flakes

  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • Cilantro

For the Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 cup dry pumpkin seeds

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp curry powder

  • 1 tbsp grape seed oil (or vegetable oil)

  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Cut your pumpkin into quarters and reserve the seeds. Rub the pumpkin quarters with about 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Bake on a baking tray for 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove the pumpkin skins and mash the flesh well.

  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add your butter. When the butter is melted, add your diced onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion has started to soften. Add your stock, coconut milk, pumpkin, curry powder, and chili flakes, and apple, and bring to a simmer. Cook on medium low for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Add your maple syrup. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt & pepper.

  5. Top your soup with fresh cilantro, diced chili, pumpkin seeds and a dash of cream.

Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Dry your pumpkin seeds with paper towel, removing any liquid. Heat a pan on medium. Add 1 tbsp of grape seed oil. When the oil is hot, add your pumpkin seeds and curry powder. Fry your seeds, turning often, for 6 – 8 minutes, until they start turn golden brown. Add your maple syrup, and keeping your seeds moving constantly, fry for another 2 or 3 minutes.

  2. Place your seeds on paper towel to remove excess oil,  but only for a second, or they will stick to the paper. Place on a baking sheet and allow to cool. Once they’ve cool, break apart. (you can store leftover seeds in a mason jar for about a week/if they last that long).



Pumpkin Ale Cornbread


  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup pumpkin ale
    (something hearty and full flavored, no “lite” stuff here!

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1 cup flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 TBSP melted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F with a 10″ cast iron skillet inside (so the skillet heats up, too).

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, pumpkin puree, pumpkin ale, and eggs.

  3. Add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on top and then stir with a
    wooden spoon or spatula just until combined.

  4. Allow this to sit for a few minutes while the oven and skillet heat up.

  5. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and coat the bottom and sides of the skillet with
    the melted butter with a pastry brush. You won’t use all the butter, and that’s ok – save it for
    drizzling on top!

  6. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and smooth out so its even.
    Drizzle the remaining melted butter on top.

  7. Carefully place the skillet back into the oven (remember, its hot!) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or
    until golden brown and cooked through.

  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
    Serve with butter and honey or maple syrup.

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