LA CORNE DE CHAPTES, MARIE-MADELEINE DE, dite du Saint-Sacrement, sister of the Congregation of Notre-Dame; b. 1700 in France, daughter of Jean-Louis de La Corne * de Chaptes and Marie Pécaudy de Contrecœur; d. 13 March 1762 in Montreal.
Marie-Madeleine de La Corne de Chaptes was born in France in 1700, while her father, a soldier, was on leave in his native land. Within four years the La Corne family had returned to New France, and in 1718 Marie-Madeleine requested admittance to the Congregation of Notre-Dame of Montreal. Since she had been born in the year of Marguerite Bourgeoys*’s death, she received the name in religion that had been taken by the founder of the congregation, “Sœur du Saint-Sacrement.” In 1720 she took her simple vows of religion. From then on she shared in the apostolic activities of the sisters in Montreal and in the parish of Sainte-Famille on Île d’Orléans.
The life that Sœur du Saint-Sacrement led for 44 years in the Congregation of Notre-Dame was uneventful. It was only after her death on 13 March 1762 that she attracted attention in the annals of her community because of a dispute between her family and the congregation concerning the succession of her brother Louis de La Corne, known as Chevalier de La Corne, who had died in the shipwreck of the Auguste on 15 Nov. 1761. As he had died childless, his succession had legally been allotted to all his surviving brothers and sisters, including Marie-Madeleine. Consequently the community claimed from Luc de La Corne*, known as La Corne Saint-Luc, the share of the inheritance due his sister. The nuns had a legitimate claim to it: when Marie-Madeleine had joined the congregation, her father, who was burdened with a large family and whose only resource was his salary of 400 1ivres, was unable to pay his daughter’s dowry in cash and had had her accepted by means of her future rights. In a letter to the superior of the congregation on 18 June 1718 Bishop Saint-Vallier [La Croix*] had personally approved the arrangement reached between M. de La Corne and the community. But La Corne Saint-Luc flatly refused to give the nuns the share of the succession due his sister, alleging that there was neither a written contract nor a will in their favour at the time of her death on 13 March 1762. The matter was then taken to the Chamber of Militia. In a declaration on 16 Nov. 1762 the court decided in favour of the community. But the five other heirs to the succession appealed the decision to the governor of Montreal, Thomas Gage*. The sisters also made representations to Gage, who “condemned M. de La Corne [Luc de La Corne] to give the congregation 2,000 livres for his sister’s dowry and in addition to pay interest on this sum from the date of her profession.”
ACND, La Congrégation de Notre-Dame: son personnel, 1653–1768 ; Fichier général des sœurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame; Plan des lieux de sépulture depuis 1681–CND; Registre des sépultures des sœurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame; Registre général des sœurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame. Desrosiers, “Correspondance de cinq vicaires généraux,” APQ Rapport, 1947–48, 88, 94. J.-J. Lefebvre, “Inventaire des biens de Luc Lacorne de Saint-Luc,” APQ Rapport, 1947–48, 29–70. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Lemire-Marsolais et Lambert, Histoire de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame, III, 287, 299; IV, 101, 102, 177, 428–35.