Who is Anne de Xainctonge?

The foundress of the "Society of Saint Ursula" was born on 21st November 1567 in Dijon (France).

To make Jesus Christ known and loved

This wish determined everything in the life of this remarkable woman.

To make Jesus Christ known and loved

Anne de Xainctonge noticed the inconsistencies in the life of her times with a spiritual awareness.

It is disturbing her that many women are uneducated and therefore at a disadvantage. She wants to change this.

Against many Obstacles

Instruction in a boarding school would be far too expensive for girls from a humble background, so she founds a form of elementary school. Her father was a pious man and had precise ideas on what was becoming for a girl of Xainctonge stock; he thus became a great hindrance.

At 29, Anne leaves the family home and begins her work in Dole, a city only forty miles away. But it is in the "Franche-Comté" (a free county), which was then under Spanish auspices, practically an enemy and therefore really "abroad". There are 10 years of trouble before Anne's plans take form. 

A New Type of Community:
the Society of Saint Ursula

Finally she can begin with two like-minded women: 

The 16th June 1606 is the foundation day.

A non-cloistered women's community in those times was unthinkable and unique. But the Bishop in charge recognises the beneficial effects of the Sisters and acknowledges the foundation soon after. Even in Anne's lifetime, several branches are established: first in Burgundy and shortly before her death in Switzerland, too.

On 8th June "Sister Anne" dies in Dole.

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(June 2005)