August 26 – This noblewoman survived the Terror and founded the Sisters of the Cross

August 25, 2011

Saint Elizabeth Bichier des Ages

She was born of a rich, noble family on July 5, 1773, at the Château des Ages, France. Raised in a pious home, she developed at an early age a close relationship with God and a genuine love for the poor.

She was twenty-five when she first met André Hubert Fournet at one of his clandestine masses at Les Marsillys. He soon enlisted her help in teaching the faith and caring for the sick and needy. Her magnetic personality and her cause soon attracted other young women to join her. After a few years, the group became a religious congregation known as Les Filles de la Croix (The Sisters of the Cross). Sister Jeanne Elisabeth, commonly known as “la Bonne Soeur” (the Good Sister), died at La Puye, France on August 26th, 1838, at the age of sixty-five. At the time, there were 600 sisters working in 99 different parts of France. On July 6, 1947, the Church officially proclaimed Jeanne Elisabeth Bichier des Ages a saint.

St. André-Hubert Fournet

 

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  • She was known as "the good sister" and founded the religious order called "The Daughters of the Cross." But she had born into the French nobility of the Old Regime, and first met St. André-Hubert Fournet in a clandestine Mass. Clandestine, because the Revolution of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity" had proscribed the true clergy and put an illegitimate one in its place.

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