GALLARD (Gallar, Galard), CHARLOTTE, nun, Religious Hospitaller, mistress of novices, depositary, and superior of the Religious Hospitallers of St Joseph in Montreal; b. 1648 at Angers, daughter of René Gallard, king’s counsellor to the bench of the provost court of Angers, and of Claude de Faye; d. 10 March 1725 at Montreal.
While still a young novice at the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaufort-en-Vallée, Sister Gallard fell gravely ill. She recovered after promising to devote her life to the service of the sick in the community of the Religious Hospitallers of St Joseph at the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal, and left her convent 27 May 1681. She sailed for Ville-Marie in the company of Sister Françoise Maumousseau. Despite delicate health, Sister Gallard held important offices. The first time the Hôtel-Dieu was burned, 24 Feb. 1695, she provided for the wants of the sick in her capacity as depositary of the poor, and her zeal assured in great measure the success of the work of reconstruction. Subsequently she became mistress of novices, then superior for the first time, from 1702 to 1708, and for a second time in 1711.
In a long letter dated 22 Oct. 1713, which she wrote to the superior of the Hôtel-Dieu of La Flèche, she gave interesting details about life at the hospital, the Indians’ customs, and her own situation. She said that her great age – she was 64 – would require that she be relieved of all tasks. Her consolation, she wrote, was that she was leaving a flourishing community, composed entirely of Canadian nuns, since she was now the only French one. Her desire for rest was not granted, however, since she remained superior until 1717 and was to hold the office again from 1720 till her death.
In 1721 the hospital and convent were ravaged by fire once more. Mother Gallard, who was superior at the time, directed the community with a skilful hand and took the necessary steps to assure the continuation of the missionary work. She died at the age of 77 without having the joy of seeing the convent finished.