Catherine of Saint Augustine (1632-1668) was an Augustinian Hospitaller Sister of the Mercy of Jesus who ministered to the poor and sick in Quebec.
Catherine de Longpré was born May 3, 1632 at Saint-Saveur, France. As a child she was given a good education.
Following the advice of Saint John Eudes, she entered the Augustinian Hospitaller Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus in 1644.
She volunteered to go to her community’s mission in Quebec. Her family was strongly opposed to the idea. Her father even tried to get the French courts to stop her. But Catherine was firmly resolved to serve the sick and the poor of Quebec. She arrived there in 1648. Later on her father came to accept his daughter’s mission there.
On her voyage to Quebec, Catherine contracted the plague. She recovered and, once arrived, spent much energy caring for poor people who were suffering from sicknesses and hunger.
In spite of spiritual dryness and a debilitating long-term illness of her own, Catherine was consistently loving, kind, and gracious toward all.
She died May 8, 1668. She was 36 years old. She is considered to be one of the founders of the Catholic Church in Canada.
Pope John Paul II declared Catherine Blessed in 1989.