Marcelle Mallet was born on March 26, 1805, in Côte des Neiges (Montreal). She loses her father when she is only five years old. After her first communion, Marcelle has to leave her family home to go live with her aunt and uncle in Lachine where already her only brother, Narcisse, was. Her foster parents give her love, comfort and a choice environment. Every year Marcelle regretfully leaves her parents and brother for a few months as a boarder at the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame.
At sixteen she is already sensitive to the suffering that a child without a family and the poor without a home may experience. She therefore decides to enter the Congregation of Mother d’Youville to dedicate her life to bringing comfort and care to the poor. Admitted first as a postulant, she enters the novitiate on May 6, 1824, and makes her profession on May 18, 1826. She takes care of the sick and in 1846 begins the custom of home visits.
In 1849, when the Church of Quebec wants to establish in the capital a community of the Sisters of Charity, Mother Mallet volunteers. She arrives in Quebec on August 22, 1849, and immediately begins her work of charity: care of the sick at home, visits to the poor, housing the orphans, helping seminarians and opening a dispensary to provide for the poor. She also opens five boarding schools for girls in the countryside, which were complementary to the local schools and served as training centers for schoolmistresses.
Despite the death of her first sisters shortly after the founding of the community and the epidemics of typhus and of cholera that ravaged several members of her institute, Mother Mallet holds on and remains faithful to her mission. On July 1st, 1866, the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec is officially recognized by the Church. She dies on April 9, 1871.