Little Sisters of the Poor
The Little Sisters of the Poor is a Roman Catholic religious institute for women. It was founded in the 1839 by Saint Jeanne Jugan. Jugan established the order to care for the elderly, having felt the need to care for the many impoverished elderly who lined the streets of French towns and cities.
The motherhouse of the order is in Saint-Pern, France. Today the Little Sisters of the Poor serve in 31 countries around the world (including homes in the US, Turkey, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Penang, New Zealand and Philippines), continuing in their original purpose of caring for the elderly. As of January 1, 2014, they were one of the larger religious institutes of women in the Catholic Church, with 234 houses and 2,372 members.
Members make vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and a fourth vow of hospitality, as they believe the fourth perfects the former by bringing their religious consecration into the realities of everyday life, and gives a spiritual dimension to the many humble tasks of hospitality performed throughout the day.
The Sisters continue the tradition of begging. The Little Sisters’ tradition of begging was set forth by their foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan. To provide for the needs of the aged poor, she traveled the roads of France on foot seeking alms. She was recognized by the begging basket she carried. Knocking on doors, she asked for money, but also for gifts in kind: food, clothing, wood, wool, or whatever was needed for the Home.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Little Sisters of the Poor.|
- Catholic online video of the Motherhouse at La Tour Saint Joseph
- Little Sisters of the Poor, Chennai, India
- Little Sisters of the Poor, national U.S. site
- Thamel, Pete. "From a Gaffe, Some Good for Little Sisters of the Poor", New York Times, September 8, 2011
- Leroy, Alexandre. History of the Little Sisters of the Poor