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Aymer de la Chevalerie, Henriette

AYMER DE LA CHEVALERIE, HENRIETTE

Cofoundress of the Sisters of the sacred hearts; b. at the de la Chevalerie chateau in Poitou, France, Aug. 11, 1767; d. Paris, Nov. 23, 1834. She was of noble birth and was imprisoned, along with her mother, during the French Revolution for giving asylum to two priests (1794). When released she joined a pious association of laywomen in Poitiers devoted to charitable works and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Abbé coudrin, their spiritual director, persuaded her to act as cofoundress of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts and Perpetual Adoration. The congregation had its beginnings in Poitiers when a residence was purchased in 1797. Henriette acted as superior of a few former members of the association. The small group received local ecclesiastical approval and pronounced religious vows (1800). Papal approval came in 1817. In 1804 headquarters were moved to Rue Picpus in Paris. Henriette remained as superior general during life and saw the institute grow to 18 houses in France and its apostolate extend to the religious education of children, along with perpetual adoration.

Bibliography: Mère Henriette and Her Work, tr. from Fr. (St. Louis 1926). f. trochu, La Servante de Dieu, Henriette Aymer de la Chevalerie (Lyons 1950). h. chomon, Dictionnaire de biographie française (Paris 1929) 4:947948.

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