Communities for Women
LITTLE SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS OF
of St. Francis of Assisi…
spirituality comprises POVERTY, SIMPLICITY, JOY, holy liberty and
Like St. Francis,
the Little Sister praises the Lord through every creature, tries
to become “another Christ”, reproducing in her life the virtues
and the Passion of Jesus, wants herself to be “humble and obedient
With the Poverello
of Assisi, the Little Sister sings her thanksgiving Hymn: “Praise
and bless my Lord, thank Him and serve Him with all due humility!”
never wish to pass beyond the others, but rather we must be the
servants and subjects of any human creature for God’s sake.”
keep anything for yourself, in order that He might wholly receive
you, who gives Himself wholly to you.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
Mother Josephine, Foundress
8, 1873, Aloysia Renault (Mother Josephine, as a religious),
after a painful youth, founded in Angers the Congregation of Little
Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, based on sacrifice and renunciation,
which soon flourished, spreading with amazing rapidity over the
West of France. The Congregation was approved by the Holy See on
February 28, 1944.
In the beginning,
the Little Sisters of St. Francis had devoted themselves only to
the care of the sick people, rich or poor, at their own house or
in medical clinics. But after the Second Vatican Council, the Congregation
turned away from the Holy Rules planned by their Venerable Foundress.
Consequently, in 1971, many of the Sisters founded a branch of strict
observance, and following a semi-contemplative life, as to save
their religious consecration.
Sisters of St. Francis want to remain faithful to the spiritual
inheritance of Mother Josephine: simplicity, tender compassion to
every suffering, unlimited love of Christ the Redeemer, great confidence
in St. Joseph, celestial Patron of the Congregation. “My Daughters,
do not forget that you are no more than Little Sisters of St. Francis
. . . very little sisters, the last of all; that you are made to
serve not to be served.”
Francis, our poverty will be our strength . . . with the fear of
God the confidence in His amiable Providence and love of neighbor,
we shall always be rich enough!” (Mother Josephine)
Francis of Assisi
of the Regular Third-Order of Penitence, the Little Sisters join
a life of prayer to acts of charity. They only leave their convent
Sisters of St. Francis have a special devotion to the Passion of
Christ and to Our Lady of Compassion. Together with Jesus on the
Cross, they pray and sacrifice themselves for the Church and the
needs of everyone confided to them.
In a spirit
of reparation and penance, they especially practice renunciation
and self-denial, but also the mortification done in the Order of
St. Francis, compatible with their state duties.
is especially dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to Mary
In order to
become a Little Sister of St. Francis, it is necessary to remain
6 to 9 months as a Postulant, then 2 years as a Novice. During
their Novitiate, the Little Sisters receive a thorough religious
education. They attend courses about the Holy Rule, Vows, Constitutions,
and also about the Bible, Dogma, History of the Church, ascetical
and mystical Theology, Franciscan spirituality…
part is reserved to prayer during the years of formation. The novices
have no connection with the world and must prepare themselves to
take their vows in silence and meditation.
study of the Constitution during the Noviciate
is followed by the Profession of Temporary Vows. The Vows are taken
annually during three years, and then renewed for two years before
the Perpetual Profession.
Jesus by the simple Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, the
Little Sisters make themselves poor, in order to be rich for God;
pure, keeping their hearts to their Divine Spouse, and at the same
time radiant with charity to others; obedient in imitation of Christ,
“obedient until the death of the Cross”.
In the evening
of their consecration, the newly Professed put down their crowns
of roses at the feet of Mary.
moving ceremony of the taking of the habit
of the Little Sisters are made of…
of Divine Office in the Choir (Roman Breviary) chanted on feast
for half an hour in the morning and in evening, and moreover one
hour of spiritual free time.
of the Most Blessed Sacrament day and night.
according to the traditional rite. The Little Sisters unite themselves
to the sacrifice of Jesus upon the altar.
as a sign of filial piety towards the Immaculate Virgin.
Way of the
Cross, a typically Franciscan devotion.
Sisters renew their ardor in their devotion by making annual and
monthly retreats, by spiritual conferences and personal readings.
Community with Archbishop Lefebvre in 1989
charity, mutual good understanding, family spirit characterize the
congregation whose motto is “Cor unum et anima una”.
This very Franciscan
charity is made manifest in common recreation after meals and on
the day of relaxation, where cheerfulness and spontaneity combine
with religious deportment.
the day the Little Sisters keep silence; there is a reading during
meals. However charity unites them as much during work as during
Sisters fulfil the various community duties according to their aptitudes.
They work in silence for the Glory of God, their own sanctification
and the salvation of souls.
shall work faithfully and devoutly, putting away idleness hostile
to the soul, so that they do not extinguish the spirit of prayer.”
(St. Francis of Assisi)
the feast of Corpus Christi
The main purpose
of the Little Sisters is apostleship, first by prayer, then by acts
of charity: taking care of the sick at their own houses or in the
convent by the religious nurses; serving and welcoming the guests
and boarders; helping old and infirm people; teaching catechism
and preparing both the children and adults for the reception of
the Sacraments; providing a home for those on retirement. “The
nurse’s mission is noble and necessary. Its purpose is to procure
the good of body and soul, it is for time and eternity; it is a
true apostleship” (Pius XII).
is to pray twice.”(St. Augustine)
At LE TREVOUX
where the Monastery and the Novitiate of the Little Sisters make
their residence now, liturgy is especially honored. The Little
Sisters have at heart to raise the divine service and to provide
the religious offices: - Sacristy; making sacred linen; ornamenting
liturgical vestments; religious art; Gregorian and polyphonic chants.
The schola sings the Solemn Mass, Vespers and benediction of the
Most Blessed Sacrament on Sundays and all feasts. Compline is sung
every evening of the week. “Manifest all the respect and honor
that you can, to the Most Sacred Body and Blood of Christ, Our Lord.”
the feast of Corpus Christi
S. Francis at Le Trevoux – Monastere N. D. des Fontaines at Morlaix
In the Mother
House of Little Sisters of St. Francis at Le Trevoux the principal
works are: welcoming and several duties concerning those needing
rest or making spiritual retreats, catechisms and nursery.
the Little Sisters have another house in “Traonfeunteuniou”, commune
of Ploujean, near Morlaix (Finistere, Britanny). There, a small
community takes care of the material needs of old age pensioners
and also lives a semi-contemplative life.
If a young
lady feels called to the religious life, she may come and remain
in the Monastery to examine her vocation without any commitment.
To be admitted
to the Congregation, she must have a sufficient knowledge of the
French language, enjoy a good physical and mental health, be good
tempered and have a generous and persevering will of devoting herself
The Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi
F-29380 LE TRÉVOUX
Tel:  2
98 71 88 79
Convent of Christ the King
1409 E. Meyer Boulevard -
Kansas City - MO 64131