Élisabeth Bruyère




Centre for the Cause

Status of the cause for canonization

Mother Élisabeth Bruyère, Servant of God


In 1977, the request for the introduction of the cause for canonization of Élisabeth Bruyère was made by His Excellency Archbishop Joseph-Aurèle Plourde, then Archbishop of the diocese of Ottawa.  The request was granted by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, at the Holy See.


In 1999, the Positio was presented to this Congregation. 

This document describes the heroic virtues practised by the candidate for canonization.


In 2018Mother Élisabeth Bruyère declared Venerable bu Pope Francis

Here is the text submitted by the Archidiocese of Ottawa : 


Ottawa, April 14th, 2018


The Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Sisters of Charity rejoice this morning upon hearing the announcement from the Vatican that Mother Elisabeth Bruyère, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Bytown (now Ottawa) has been declared Venerable, a first step toward a possible canonization in the future.


Archbishop Prendergast, expresses his joy at learning of this good news and takes this opportunity to remind us of the great contribution Mother Bruyère and members of her congregation have exercised in our city and our diocese since their very foundation. "Mother Bruyère and the Sisters of Charity initiated and founded several of the charitable institutions that continue to be very present and active in our community, especially in health and education.  Mother Bruyère's ministry, her life of prayer and heartfelt devotion towards helping the neediest, reflect God's love for us all.  May Mother Bruyère continue to guide her fellow Sisters and sustain them in their efforts as they continue to cater to the needs of the people of Ottawa, the members of our Christian communities and our Archdiocese.  This wonderful announcement is another good reason to proclaim a joyful Alleluia in these days of Easter."


Sister Rachelle Watier, Superior General of the Sisters of Charity, commented on this news from Rome as follows: "Today is not only a great day filled with emotion and pride for the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, it is also a day filled with joy for the whole Church which has just recognized our foundress, Élisabeth Bruyère, Venerable, a first step toward her canonization.  The sanctity of her virtues has been officially recognized.  We are happy to share our immense joy with the public.  This is also a great day for the city of Ottawa, for Canada, for the 185 locations where the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa have been active in our country.  Filled with the love of God and a burning desire to do God's work and help the vulnerable and those without a voice, Élisabeth Bruyère, in 1845, at age 27, changed the face of the village of Bytown.  Within five months, she established a whole network of social services that were greatly needed.  Élisabeth Bruyère was a woman ahead of her time.  She initiated social changes that benefited not only Ottawa but the whole world.  Today, members of her Congregation continue to be active in the United States, many places in Africa, Japan, Brazil and Canada.  May Venerable Élisabeth Bruyère continue to be a source of inspiration for our world.  May all persons who share her compassion and continue her work in all aspects of society receive God's blessings through her intercession."


Text credited to the Archdiocese of Ottawa

What is the meaning of the expression heroic virtues?

It does not consist of actions which are neither particularly burdensome nor difficult.  It does not consist of the presence of mystical gifts or phenomena which are deemed to be beyond human nature.  The actions may be possible for the majority of people, simple actions arising in everyday life, actions which are unique to one or another life status.  The manner in which these actions are accomplished reveals a spiritual motive rooted in faith, hope and charity.  This virtuous disposition must be constantly maintained, in spite of obstacles and difficulties encountered in life.  It is not a question of being impeccable, of not showing fragility but rather the presence of a predominating and confirmed spiritual attitude which is displayed in the person`s behaviour.   One must also add the gratuitousness with which service and generosity are shown.  Since the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints acknowledged reception of the Positio, a first component of the review has been completed. The report was affirmative.

Currently, a miracle is required.  This miracle would then need to be recognized by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints as authentic and truly attributable to the intercession of the Servant of God.


What do we mean by the word miracle?

It consists of the rather sudden and stable cure of an illness which has been deemed incurable by physicians.


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Free translation (English) from the original documents:  http://www.ipir.ulaval.ca by Louise Charbonneau, s.c.o.