Profile of Anne Marie Javouhey our Foundress
A vibrant, energetic, healthy girl, ready for fun with her siblings and friends, a born leader in games and songs, this was "Nanette", Anne Marie Javouhey.

She was born on 10th November 1779 in Jallanges, France and baptized the next day in the parish church at Seurre.

A few years later the family moved to Chamblanc.
Anne Marie Javouhey Profile
Anne Marie Javouhey Profile Nanette was ten when the French Revolution broke out. The slogan of the French Revolution "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", had its effects on the young mind. She understood that all were children of God, that all had a right to human dignity, that all were brothers and sisters.

Priests of the Catholic Church went into hiding. When they were hounded, she hid them! Nanette took it upon herself to help them reach the dying and celebrate Mass, prepare children for the Sacraments, save the Blessed Sacrament from a burning chapel, teach the children the basics of education.

Nanette was courageous. This same courage enabled her to make a decision about her life. She refused the young man who asked to marry her saying, "I feel destined to do a little good". In a darkened barn on 10th November 1798 she consecrated herself to God taking the name Sister Anne Marie Javouhey.

After the Revolution Anne Marie gathered the orphans, but had to depend on God for their needs. Quite often her father came to her rescue.

After attempting religious life in two religious Congregations, Anne Marie felt God leading her to found a Congregation. She felt specially called to reach out to peoples of different races following a vision she had of coloured children. The Congregation was founded on 12th May 1807, when Anne Marie, her three sisters and five other women pronounced their vows.
Anne Marie Javouhey Profile
Anne Marie Javouhey Profile
Sister Anne Marie’s successful use of the Lancastrian Method of education attracted the attention of the Governor of Reunion who invited her to teach in his colony. When she asked what type of people they were, he answered: "Blacks, Whites, Mulattoes".

Then she realized the meaning of her dream of coloured children in earlier years and these were the people God was calling her to.

She knew her dream of earlier years was being realized.

These were the people God was calling her to.

Shocked by the prevalence of slavery in Africa, Anne Marie did her best to liberate the slaves. In Mana, South America, she worked with the Government to liberate a whole colony of slaves. To them she was their "dear Mother".

But her life was not a bed of roses. She had to fight with people who did not understand that all people were equal. She had to battle with a Bishop to preserve the missionary dimension of the Congregation. For this she was even deprived of the Sacraments. She had to go through the pain of of betrayal and separation of sisters who deserted her.

Anne Marie Javouhey Profile
Knowing that she was doing the Will of God gave her peace. Her life had been a passionate working for the liberation of the people, God had confided to her.

She received her eternal reward on July 15th 1851. She was 71. The church beatified her on 15th October 1950.

Her spirit lives today in her 2,800 Sisters scattered across the five continents!