History of the Congregation

Jerome Le Royer:  who is he?

Father of a family without great wealth or political influence, founder of a community of Daughters Hospitallers and founder of Montreal, Jerome Le Royer remains a great unknown, because he never came to America. Bound by his family and his professional responsibilities, he was unable to leave France to come to America. He remained in the shadow of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance whom he chose as collaborators to fulfill his “visionary” projects.

Jerome Le Royer was born in La Fleche, France on March 18, 1597.  He was a man of action filled with a deep spirit of faith, surrender, and a great missionary zeal.  After having established the Confraternity of the Holy Family for the laity, he founded the Congregation of the Religious Hospitallers in 1636. In 1659, the year of his death, he sent the first three Hospitallers to Montreal.

Marie de la Ferre:  who is she?

Marie de la Ferre was born in Roiffe, France in 1589.  She was interested in the things of God.  Her mother instilled in her a deep devotion to Mary and love of the Eucharist. As an adolescent she was inspired by God and chose to live a life of poverty and humility, embarking on an intense path seeking God.  Marie de la Ferre was a woman free to love and to serve, open to God’s will. She became the first Hospitaller of Saint Joseph on May 18, 1636 and died in Moulins on July 1652.