Angelique Perigault, who was to become Mother Marie de St Charles, entered the Daughters of Jesus’ noviciate in 1841 at the age of 21. She had chosen that Congregation because it was “small and poor”. In 1846, aged 26 years, she was elected Superior General and remained so until the end of her life in 1884.
From the beginning of her generalate, the Congregation was beset by serious difficulties which could have led to its disappearance. She faced them with faith and audacity. Under her leadership the Congregation eventually experienced a remarkable growth, the numbers having increased from 60 to over 600 sisters, so that numerous foundations were able to be made.
The premises in Bignan had long since been inadequate for the growing young Congregation. In 1860, the Mother House was established some kilometres away near Locminé. It was named “Kermaria”, “the village of Mary”. A chapel dedicated to St Joseph was built and soon became a centre of pilgrimage for the surrounding area.
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