Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration
An institute of nuns devoted to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and to the education of orphan children
Perpetual Adoration, SISTERS OF THE (Quimper, France), an institute of nuns devoted to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and to the education of orphan children; founded at Quimper (Brittany), by Abbé Francois-Marie Langrez (b. at Saint Servan, July 20, 1787; d. at Quimper, August 10, 1862). In early youth Francois-Marie had been an apprentice rope-maker, but he began to study the classics at sixteen, and was ordained December 19, 1812. In December, 1821, he conceived the first idea of the work he subsequently founded. Two poor homeless little girls crossed his path. He confided them to Marguerite Le Maïtre, a domestic servant. Other orphans were found and sheltered. In 1826 Marguerite’s home contained an oratory and was provided with a dormitory holding thirty beds. Three years later she received her first two co-laborers, and on November 21, 1829, the first chapel of the institute was opened. In 1832, Mlle Olympe de Moëlien, in whose family Marguerite Le Maïtre had been a servant when she began her charitable work, entered the little society, being made superioress, March 10, 1833. On January 20, 1835, Mère Olympe and her companions first put on the religious habit. In September, 1835 a tentative rule of life was drawn up by Abbe Langrez. In March, 1836, the first sisters made their vows. On March 27, 1837, Sister Marguerite Le Maïtre died. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which was begun in March, 1836, did not become perpetual, day and night, till 1843, eight days after the death of Mère Olympe, who left after her a great reputation for sanctity. At that time the community numbered 11 choir sisters, 4 postulants, and had charge of 70 children. In 1845 their rule was approved by Msgr. Graveran, Bishop of Quimper. A little later they were recognized by the Government under the title of Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration. On May 10, 1851, a house was founded at Recouvrance, transferred, October 28, 1856, to Coat-ar-Guéven, near Brest. This and the house at Quimper are the only ones that practice perpetual adoration. In 1882, the institute contained 400 orphan girls and 128 religious. Since its foundation, it has received 1754 orphan girls, of whom 1000 have embraced the religious life in different congregations.