Tranchepain, Marie St. Augustin, Mother

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Missionary, first superior of the Ursuline nuns of New Orleans, La.; b. Rouen, France; d. New Orleans, Nov. 11, 1733. Her parents were Protestant members of the French aristocracy. After her conversion to Catholicism, she left home to seek instruction from the Ursulines of her native city; she entered the convent there in 1677. Her aspirations to missionary work were encouraged by the Jesuit Nicolas I. de Beaubois, who arrived in France in 1726. Early the following year Mother St. Augustin and ten companions set out for New France, arriving in New Orleans Aug. 7, 1727, to begin their charitable work for the betterment of all classes, rich and poor, whites, African Americans, and Native Americans. During her administration the first boarding school for girls within the present limits of the United States was opened, and the first free school was established, the first orphanage, and the first sodality of the Blessed Virgin. The nuns also assumed charge of a military hospital and sponsored the first retreat for the ladies of the colony.

Bibliography: Archives, Ursuline Convent, New Orleans, La.

[m. c. rivet]