Mrs. Aurore Mainville Ménard, a full-time Pilgrim of St. Michael in our headquarters of Rougemont for the last 31 years, died on January 19, at the age of 84. Here are the notes our Directress, Miss Thérèse Tardif, supplied to the parish for the homily given at her funeral at our St. Michael’s Church in Rougemont, on January 23:
Mrs. Ménard was born in St. Isidore de Prescott, Ontario. She lived in Strickland, then in Toronto until 1974, when she moved to Rougemont to join
the Pilgrims of St. Michael. Her daughter, Rosette, who is present with us today, lives in Toronto.
The main characteristic of Mrs. Ménard’s life was her piety and self-dedication. Since her childhood, she practised these virtues, edifying those around her. She did everything for the service of God, never thinking about herself.
The priority of every day for her was the Holy Mass. She often repeated: “Thank you, God, for allowing me to attend Holy Mass every morning. What a privilege ! ” With how great a piety she attended it. When she received Jesus in her heart, during Holy Communion, she was totally given to Him. The noises around her could not stop the sweet conversation between Jesus and her soul. At the church, she was always seated in front, in the middle, to face the tabernacle.
She was also a fervent devotee of the Rosary. She slept with the beads in her hands. When she woke up, even at 4 in the morning, she started reciting the Rosary. When the bell rang in the morning to wake up people, as she was deaf, we had to half-open her door to wake her up, but we always saw her kneeling down at her bed, reciting the Rosary, and kissing holy pictures of Jesus, Mary, and other saints whom she loved. Of course, she was always ahead of time in the chapel for the prayers recited communally.
In her younger days, Mrs. Ménard worked in hospitals, at the service of the sick. She served them with tireless dedication. She made sure to raise her daughter Rosette according to her deep religious beliefs. Her grandson, William, was a treasure for her. She never forgot him and his family in her ardent prayers.
Mrs. Ménard was introduced to the Pilgrims of St. Michael and the “Michael” Journal by Mrs. Isabelle Mikolainis, our fervent apostle in charge of Toronto. They met at the Mass one morning, and Mrs. Mikolainis invited her to distribute “Michael” leaflets with her. In her leisure time, Mrs. Ménard filled the rack of her bicycle with “Michael” leaflets to travel all over Toronto and distribute these leaflets from door to door.
Then, in October, 1974, she joined the team of full-time Pilgrims in Rougemont, Quebec. She had the opportunity to fully exercise her zeal in the door-to-door apostolate to solicit subscriptions, and in the kitchen, sewing, cleaning, etc. She read the “Michael” Journal three times at every issue. This way, she was able to fill her mind with truths, and it kept her burning with zeal. She often said: “What a grace God gave to me by bringing me to the ‘Michael’ Movement ! ”
It is during her apostolate from door to door in Montreal, to visit families, that she fell on the sidewalk and broke her hip, which put an end to the active apostolate that she cherished so much. From now on, she dedicated all of her energies to help the apostles in every way. Nothing was too difficult for her.
On December 26, 2005, she fell and broke her right arm. During her re-habilitation in a center in Marieville, she was struck with a fatal pulmonary embolism. It marked the end of her life of prayer and dedication. When the doctor told her the news, she welcomed it not only with resignation to God’s will, but also with great joy. When we went to visit her at the hospital, despite having difficulty to breathe, she repeated to each one of us: “What great news ! The good Lord comes to take me ! What great news ! The good Lord comes to take me ! ”
She received the last rites with a deep fervour. She passed away quitely, without agony, holding in her hands her Rosary and the crucifix for a good death; she also wore the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, all great protections against the attacks of the devil. She edified us, she helped us. She assured us that, from above, she will continue to pray for each one of the Pilgrims of St. Michael.