Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres
AbbreviationSPC (post-nominal initials)
Formation1696; 328 years ago (1696)
FoundersLouis Chauvet
Founded atLevesville-la-Chenard France
TypeReligious apostolic missionary congregation of pontifical right
Via della Vignaccia, 193 Rome Italy
Coordinates41°54′4.9″N 12°27′38.2″E / 41.901361°N 12.460611°E / 41.901361; 12.460611
Mother Maria Goretti Lee
Patron saint
Paul the Apostle

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) is a Roman Catholic religious apostolic missionary congregation of pontifical right for teaching, nursing, visiting the poor and taking care of orphans, the old and infirm, and the mentally ill. It was founded in Levesville-la-Chenard, France, in 1696.[1]

The interior spirit is a love of sacrifice and labor for the spiritual and temporal good of others. The postulancy lasts from six months to one year, the novitiate two years, after which the sisters take vows annually for three to seven years, and then perpetual simple vows.[2]


In 1696, the congregation was founded by Louis Chauvet,[1][3] the parish priest of Levesville-la-Chenard, a little French village, and Marie-Anne de Tilly, a young woman from a noble family. Chauvet enlisted three volunteers. Their first house belonged to Chauvet.

The first superior, Marie Michau, died in 1702, She was succeeded by Marie-Anne de Tilly, who died the following year. In 1708 the small community of sister was entrusted to the Bishop of Chartres, Paul Godet des Marais. The bishop gave them a small house and the Apostle Paul as a patron. The house formerly belonged to a sabot-maker, and this gave them the name of "les Sœurs sabotières de Saint-Maurice", by which they were originally known.[2]

In 1727, the sisters were asked by Louis XV to establish a foreign mission at Cayenne in French Guiana. The congregation was dispersed under the Terror, during the French Revolution, but was restored by Napoleon I,[4] who gave the sisters a monastery at Chartres, which originally belonged to the Jacobins, from which they became known as "les Sœurs de St. Jacques".

Beyond France

The sisters expanded their missionary work to the Islands of Martinique in 1818. They settled in England in 1847 at the invitation of Cardinal Wiseman.

By 1902 they had over two hundred and fifty houses in France where, besides various kinds of schools, they undertook asylums for the blind, the aged, and the insane, hospitals, dispensaries, and crèches. By 1913, more than one hundred and sixty of these schools had been closed, also thirty of the hospitals, military and civil, in the French colonies, three convents at Blois and a hospice at Brie. On the other hand they had in the meanwhile opened five or six hospitals overseas.

In 1904, seven sisters came to the Philippines from Saigon, Vietnam at the invitation of Frederick Z. Rooker, bishop of Jaro. They opened a girls' boarding school in Dumaguete. Over time, they developed St. Paul University System, which became known for training nurses.[5]

Hong Kong

The first Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres arrived in Hong Kong in 1848. Institutions founded by the sisters include:[6]

Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres in Indochina in 1931.

Core values


See also


  1. ^ a b "Fr. Louis Chauvet", Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, Generalate, Rome
  2. ^ a b Steele, Francesca Maria (1908). "Sisters of Charity" . Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. see penultimate para - Sisters of Charity of St. Paul. These sisters who now add (of Chartres) to their title.....
  3. ^ "SPC Origins". Archived from the original on 2013-07-08.
  4. ^ "About Us: History - Origins - Sisters of St. Paul Chartres USA". Archived from the original on 2013-11-26.
  5. ^ Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, Philippine Province
  6. ^ St Paul's Convent School website: "Sisters of St Paul de Chartres in Hong Kong"
  7. ^ "Paulinian Core Values - St. Paul College of Ilocos Sur".

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSteele, Francesca Maria (1908). "Sisters of Charity". Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. see penultimate para; the entry cities: