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In 1838, Father Basil Moreau gave a rule of life to a group of devout laywomen. These women assisted the priests and brothers at first by doing domestic work. Later because of so many requests for help, these “sisters” were trained to teach and nurse. These women became the Marianites of Holy Cross, and in 1841 the first Marianites received the religious habit (dress).

The Marianites were dedicated to Mary, and in particular to Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows, or as she is also known, Our Lady of Seven Dolors. The first woman in leadership for the Marianites received the religious name Mother Mary of Seven Dolors. Her family name is Leocadie Gascoin. Today, the women of Holy Cross form 3 distinct congregations: Marianites of Holy Cross, Sisters of the Holy Cross, and Sisters of Holy Cross. The men and women religious of Holy Cross minister in Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. They are engaged in a variety of ministries fulfilling their commitment to continue the mission of Jesus in the spirit of Fr. Moreau.



1818 Born in Montenay, the 4th of 6 children. Her parents were middle-class farmers.
1822 Her mother died.
1822-1833 Stayed at home to work in the church parish and care for her family.
1841 Entered the novitiate in Le Mans and became one of the first Marianites. She was formed in religious life by Mother Mary of St. Dosithee at the Monastery of the Good Shepherd in Le Mans.
1844 Pronounced first vows.
1845 Named the first Superior General of the Marianites.
1900 Died in Le Mans.

Leocadie Romaine Gascoin

Mere Marie Des Sept Douleurs

1818 Née à Montenay, elles est le 4ème enfant d’une famille de 6 Ses parents étaient des fermiers de classes moyennes.
1822 Décès de sa maman.
1822-1833 Elle reste à la maison pour travailler à l’église paroissiale et prendre soin de sa famille.
1841 Elle entre au Noviciat au Mans et devient une des premières Marianites. Elle est formée à la vie religieuse par Mère Marie Dosithée au monastère du Bon Pasteur au Mans.
1844 Elle prononce ses premiers voeux.
1845 Elle est nommée première supérieure générale des soeurs Marianites.
1900 Elle meurt au Mans.