Bays, Marguerite, Bl.

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Seamstress and member of the Third Order of Franciscans; b. La Pierraz, Siviriez, Fribourg Canton, Switzerland, Sept. 8, 1815; d. Siviriez, Switzerland, June 27, 1879. Marguerite, born into a farming family, led a simple life, working as a dressmaker. Active in her parish, she catechized children, established the Association for the Holy Childhood there, and helped to found a Catholic newspaper. Beyond the parish, she visited the sick and dying. She received the stigmata after being miraculously cured of intestinal cancer (Dec. 8, 1954). For the next twenty-five years, she mystically relived Christ's Passion each Friday. She died on the octave of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Despite Rome's refusal of her cause, her mortal remains were exhumed in 1929 and enshrined in the convent of la Fille-Dieu at Romont, which was governed by Marguerite's goddaughter and great-niece, Mother Marie-Lutgarde Fasel. Finally her cause was accepted in 1953. Pope John Paul II beatified her on Oct. 29, 1995.

Feast: June 27.

Bibliography: r. loup, Marguerite Bays, 3d. ed. (Fribourg, Switzerland 1969).

[k. i. rabenstein]