When her husband died, Marguerite was left with two children to care for. She was pregnant with her sixth child, but the infant did not survive. She had no alternative but to renounce the inheritance from her husband, which consisted only of debts. Two years later, she was able to retain by a legal lease her house on the Place du Marché. It was a two-storey stone dwelling containing two shops; one of them was able to serve for a small retail business that supplied her with a subsistence wage.
Her family and friends observed that following the spirit of the Confraternity of the Holy Family, she devoted all her free time to prayer, to good works, and to educating her sons. Being very familiar with poverty, she did all she could to ease the lives of the destitute, she visited the sick, and she mended the clothes of the residents of the General Hospital. But her way of life did not correspond to the social expectations of the time, which held that women should be only either married or in a convent… Worse, carrying our devote dress to the extent of actually coming into contact with the poor offended the criteria of good taste of the bourgeoisie to which Marguerite belonged.