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Fr. Jean Pierre Medaille SJ

      The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy was founded by Rev. Fr. Jean Pierre Medaille sj in 1650 at Le Puy, France. St. Joseph’s College for Women (Autonomous), a Catholic minority institution, is managed by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy, France.  

       Fr. Medaille was born in 1610 at Carcassonne, France, and was  educated in a Jesuit College in  Toulouse.  He joined the Society of Jesus (sj) in 1637 and became  a   priest.   The   Founder’s   spirituality  is  based  on  the  teachings  of St. Ignatius of Loyola who  laid  much emphasis on translating the unconditional Love of God, into  affecting the  lives of people for  the  better.  Fr. Medaille too intended that the Love of God be communicated to all people regardless of their class, creed, race, and socio-cultural backgrounds.

        Towards     this    end     Fr. Medaille     formed    a   Society   of   Women Religious  who  would  make  known   the  boundless  love  and  mercy  of  God, by  their  life  of  prayer  and  Union  with  God and  engage in works that would most   benefit   the  poor  and  the  needy – spiritually  and  materially.  Thus the Society   which   later developed into a Congregation, came   into   existence on the 15th October, 1650.

        The  Congregation  flourished  in  the  17th  Century   till   the  time  of   the French  Revolution in  Europe  when  all  religious associations were banned and their  personnel prosecuted. In 1789 many of the Sisters in France were captured, imprisoned   without trial, and at least five sisters of St. Joseph were guillotined in one of the public squares of Lyons. He guided Francoise Eyraud and her five companions towards a profound spiritual life and formed them into an association called the Little Design. In 1650 in Le Puy this association was named The Sisters of St Joseph. They worked for the poor the sick the orphaned and any "dear neighbour" in need. Their cloister was their hearts, they were contemplatives in action, doing any work of which women were capable. For many years Father Medaille travelled throughout the South of France conducting Parish missions. Between 1662-1669 he wrote the Constitutions or Rules of Life for the Sisters. 

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