VÉRONNEAU, AGATHE, Sister of Charity of the Hôpital Général of Montreal; b. 17 April 1707 at Saint-François-du-Lac, daughter of Louis Véronneau, a merchant, and Marguerite Maugras; d. 20 April 1764 in Montreal.
On 10 Feb. 1746 Agathe Véronneau joined the community of Grey Nuns, which had been founded in 1737 by Marie-Marguerite d’Youville, née Dufrost* de Lajemmerais. In the autumn of 1747 the foundress recorded in the new registry of the Hôpital Général of Montreal that the aspirant, Agathe Véronneau, had not yet “been admitted into the society.” On 23 Aug. 1749 Sister Véronneau dedicated herself “unreservedly to the service of the poor,” and in the letters patent of 1753 she is ranked sixth among the administrators of the Hôpital Général of Montreal.
In 1755 the smallpox epidemic which was raging in the colony spread its ravages to Montreal and the Indian villages at Lac des Deux-Montagnes and Sault Saint-Louis. The women who were stricken by the scourge were taken into the Hôpital Général, because the Hôtel-Dieu was overcrowded by a “prodigious number” of sick persons. This humanitarian gesture by Mme d’Youville was encouraged by Bishop Pontbriand [Dubreil]. In the first six months of the year 18 deaths were recorded, among them those of 14 Indians. Faced with the urgency of the task Sister Véronneau exerted herself unsparingly on behalf of those who had contracted the infection until her health was seriously endangered by a complication brought on by typhus. Her strong constitution permitted her to get the better of the illness, but unfortunately the violent fever had already affected her mental faculties.
She remained in this state until her death, which occurred on 20 April 1764, and she was buried the following day in the crypt of the church of the Hôpital Général of Montreal.
ASGM, Dossier: Constitutions, 4; Dossier: Maison mère, doc. 146 (oct. 1747), doc. 202 (3 juin 1753); Mémoires, 10 [Sœur Baby, Julie Casgrain, 1835–1898]; MY/B: Correspondance, doc. 28 (22 sept. 1755); Notices biographiques: 1741–1848, [Mère McMullen, s.g.m.]; Recueil des règles et constitutions à l’usage des Filles séculières administratrices de l’Hôpital Général de Montréal dites Sœurs de la Charité recueillies sur les anciens titres et usages de la communauté, M. Montgolfier, Étienne, p.s.s., 1781, 129; Registre d’admission des pauvres, 1694–1796, 21; Registre des baptêmes de la paroisse de Saint-François-du-Lac; Registre des baptêmes et sépultures de l’Hôpital Général de Montréal, 1725–1759, ff.12, 13; 1759–1776, f.13.
André Chagny, Un défenseur de la « Nouvelle-France » : François Picquet, « Le Canadien » (1708–1781) (Montréal, 1913), 237–38. [É.-M. Faillon], Vie de Mme d’Youville, fondatrice des Sœurs de la Charité de Villemarie dans l’île de Montréal en Canada (Villemarie [Montréal], 1852), 141–42, 262. Albertine Ferland-Angers, Mère d’Youville (Montréal, 1945), 96, 141, 164, 324. Mondoux, L’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, 300–1.