As a young widow of 26 Marguerite d’Youville became a “Mother of Universal Charity”, dedicating her life to helping the unfortunate. In 1737 she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (Les Soeurs Grises), a charitable Order which assumed responsibility for the General Hospital of Montreal’s programme dedicated to caring for the poor. In 1753 Louis XV signed the Letters Patent, which sanctioned the appointment of Madame d’Youville as Director of the hospital and officially established the Sisters of Charity. In the succeeding centuries, generations of Grey Nuns have founded numerous charitable institutions throughout the world, such as the Saint Boniface General Hospital of Winnipeg in 1871. Madame d’Youville was beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1959 and canonized by Pope John Paul II on December 9, 1990.