November 9, 2009
Jeanne Marie Rendu was born 9th September, 1786 at Confort, a district of Gex in the Jura Mountains of France. She was the eldest of four girls, and her parents enjoyed a certain affluence and respect throughout the area. Jeanne Marie was three years old when the Revolution broke out, and the Rendu family home became a refuge for priests who refused to take the oath of support of the civil constitution. Her Mother, concerned about the education of her eldest daughter, sent her to the Ursuline Sisters in Gex where she stayed in their boarding school for two years. At this time, she discovered the hospital where the Daughters of Charity cared for the sick and she developed a desire to go and join them. On 25 May 1802, she arrived at the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity, in Paris, when she was nearly 17 years old! On the advice of her physician and that of her Godfather, Fr. Emery, she was sent to the house of the Daughters of Charity in the Mouffetard District for the service of the poor, and remained there 54 years.