Blessed Emilie Gamelin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence, lived in Montreal from 1800 to 1851. When she was a child, her parents taught her to help those who were needy or suffering. Her own life taught her, too, what it was to be needy and suffering; she lost both her parents when she was very young and had to rely on the charity of relatives for her care and education. She had a happy and prosperous marriage, but her husband died after only four years, and her three children died, too, as infants. The young widow put all her energy and finances into helping the poor, sick and oppressed. She organized with other lay women to form an organization, the Ladies of Charity, to care for the sick poor, to visit political prisoners and to provide a home for orphans and homeless elderly women. Needy people of all sorts flocked to her for help.