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Religious Congregations of the Presentation
(1) Daughters of the Presentation, founded in 1627 by Nicolas Sanguin (b. 1580; d. 1653), Bishop of Senlis, a prelate who was atoning by a life of sanctity for the errors of an ill-spent youth. Having given himself unstintingly to the service of the plague- stricken during a pest which devastated Senlis during the early years of his episcopate, he turned his attention to the foundation of a teaching order to combat the prevailing ignorance and the resulting vice in the diocese. Two young women from Paris, Catherine Dreux and Marie de la Croix, began the work of teaching in 1626 and the following year were formed into a religious community, which shortly afterwards was enclosed under the Rule of St. Augustine. The opposition of the municipal authorities gave way before the Bull of erection granted by Urban VIII (4 Jan., 1628) and letters patent of Louis XIII granted in 1630, the year in which the first solemn profession was held. In 1632 papal permission was obtained for two of Bishop Sanguin's sisters and a companion to leave for a time their monastery of Moncel of the Order of St. Clare, to form the new community in the religious life. Seven years later they were received as members into the new order, over which they presided for more than thirty years. The congregation did not survive the Revolution, although under Bonaparte one of the former members organized at Senlis a school which was later taken over by the municipality. The habit was black serge over a robe of white serge, with a white guimpe, a black bandeau, and veil. The original constitutions seem to have been altered by Mgr Sanguin's nephew and successor in the See of Senlis, owing to the frequent reference made in them to the devotion of the Slavery of Our Lady, which was suppressed by the Church.
(2) Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, founded in 1684 by [Blessed] Marie Poussepin at Sainville in the Diocese of Chartres, for teaching and the care of the sick. At the time of the religious disturbances in France, over seventeen hundred sisters were engaged in France, Spain, South America, and Asiatic Turkey, where they have charge of a number of schools and protectories for girls. At Agua de Dios in Colombia they care for a colony of lepers. In 1813 the mother-house was established at Saint-Symphorien near Tours.
[Note: In 1897, the congregation was affiliated with the Order of Preachers, and became formally known as the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Tours. The foundress, Marie Poussepin (1653-1744), was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 20 November, 1994. Her feast day is observed on 14 October.]
(3) Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, also called White Ladies, founded in 1796 at Montpezat by [Blessed] Marie Rivier (d. 1838), assisted by the Abbe Pontannier, for the instruction of poor girls. The first novitiate was opened at Thueys, near Aubenas, but the mother-house was permanently established at Bourg-Saint-Andéol in the Diocese of Viviers. The congregation soon spread over France and in 1853 a house was established in Canada. At the time of the dispersion of the religious orders in France the congregation numbered two thousand members in charge of schools and orphan asylums. The Polish mother-house is at Cracow.
[Note: The foundress, Anne Marie Rivier (b. 19 Dec., 1768; d. 3 Feb., 1838), was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 23 May, 1982. See also: PRESENTATION OF MARY, CONGREGATION OF THE.]
(4) Sisters of the Presentation of Our Lady, founded at Ghent in 1805 by Miss Weewauters, in religion Mother Mary Augustine, and Canon de Decker (d. 1874) for the education of girls. The mother- house is at Saint-Nicolas, on which are dependent a number of filial houses, with about two hundred members.
HEIMBUCHER, Orden u. Kongregationen (Paderborn, 1907); HELYOT, Dict. des Ordres rel. (Paris, 1859); Vie de M. Rivier (Avignon, 1842).
Florence Rudge McGahan.