Montaignac de Chauvance, Louise-Thérèse de, Bl.
MONTAIGNAC DE CHAUVANCE, LOUISE-THÉRÈSE DE, BL.
Foundress of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; b. May 14, 1820, Le-Havre-de-Grace, France; d. June 22, 1885, Moulins, France.
As the daughter of a wealthy financier—Aimé Montaignac de Chauvance and his wife Anne de Ruffin— Louise-Thérèse was educated at a boarding school from age seven. Although she did not pursue a Carmelite vocation, she made a private vow of perpetual chastity (Sept. 8, 1843), founded the Guild of the Tabernacle for Perpetual Adoration (1848) and an orphanage at Montluçon.
With the help of her aunt, she formed (1852) an association of Christian women at Montluçon with the mission of restoring the faith in France. This became the Pious Union of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart (Dec. 21, 1874) dedicated to "renewing society by their example and their holy lives." Montaignac was elected superior general on May 17, 1880 and held that office until her death. The oblates live in community or secular life in Europe, Africa, and Central America and continue her work of operating orphanages, providing religious education, financing poor parishes, and directing retreats.
Montaignac also founded the "Samuels" for the formation of young Christians discerning religious vocations. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II, Nov. 4,1990.
Feast: June 22.
Bibliography: p. ferlay, La force de la foi: itinéraire spirituel de Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac (Paris 1990). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1990): 1090–91.
[k. i. rabenstein]