Wisdom, Daughters of

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(DW, Official Catholic Directory #0960); a congregation founded at Poitiers in France by (St.) Louis Marie grignion de montfort on Feb. 2, 1703, when he gave the religious habit to Louise Trichet, known in religion as Sister Marie-Louise of Jesus. She was to be the leader of this new congregation founded to work among the neglected sick in hospitals and among the children of the poor. At the founder's death in 1716, the Daughters of Wisdom (DW) numbered only four sisters, but it grew rapidly thereafter. Despite the persecution during the French Revolution in which 34 sisters gave their lives for the faith, the membership of the community had increased by 1846 to 1,400 sisters. In 1810, at the call of Napoleon, the sisters left French soil for the first time to nurse wounded soldiers at Antwerp, Belgium. At the beginning of the 20th century the anticlerical laws of France occasioned the founding of houses in the United States. Having decided to maintain their religious habit even at the price of exile, numerous Daughters of Wisdom left France and settled in Maine and New York in 1904. The sisters have since established schools, hospitals, clinics and orphanages.

The congregation, which is a pontifical institute, has its generalate in St. Laurent-sur-Sevre, Vendee, France. The United States provincialate is in Islip, New York.

[m. c. kane/eds.]

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Wisdom, Daughters of

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