Perrine Samson

Perrine Samson was born in 1790 in Elizen, a small hamlet in the parish of Bignan. Her youth was spent helping her parents on their farm.

In 1815 she joined the Third Order of St Francis.

She undertook the activities of a tertiary while remaining in her own environment and continuing her usual work. She taught children their prayers and catechism as well as how to read in Breton.

  • She cared for the sick and assisted the dying.
  • When there was no priest to say Sunday Mass, she would lead the congregation in prayer.
  • She was always careful to maintain harmony and good relations among the people.

In 1829, Perrine was invited by the parish priest, M. Coeffic, to go to Bignan itself to take charge of the boys’ school. He suggested that she become a member of a Congregation which would be founded in line with Fr. Noury’s project. Perrine and four other young women began their noviciate in 1831 and pronounced their vows on 25th November 1834.

This commitment bound them together into a body, each linked to the other. Henceforth each sister would accept to receive her mission as her part in the overall mission of the new Congregation, even though the activities were much the same as before. The Congregation was able to grow in unity. It developed its spirituality which is a spirituality of action: “To honour the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God”. This was evident in all the sisters’ activity, marked by their desire to live “close to the people”, with special preference “for the most deprived”.

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Other young women were soon to join the first sisters with the result that communities could be sent to those neighbouring parishes which desired the presence of sisters.

The first superior general was Perrine Samson, Mother St Angele, who in fact really longed for a hidden life. Once a successor was found, M. St Angele resigned from office in 1837 and returned to her previous modest activities. She died in 1847. Her humble and devoted life remains “a silent source of inspiration” for all the Daughters of Jesus.

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