The Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres are an international congregation with its headquarters in Rome. In 1696 Fr. Chauvet, a parish priest of Levesille, France, invited three young girls, together with Marie Anne de Tilly, a gentlewoman from Allaines, to form a community to care for the sick and to comfort the lonely and the poor. A little school was started and the children began to learn and to develop a sense of their own dignity, despite the desperate poverty of the times. Levesville is not far from the great Cathedral of Chartres, and the bishop of Chartres took a keen interest in the little community.

Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, from the earliest days of their fledgling community, drew inspiration from the writings and spirit of St. Paul. They resolved to follow in his footstep, eager to spread the Good News of Jesus. The Congregation has no territorial preference and responds with fidelity to the call to serve, with a special love for the most neglected, anywhere in the world. Their major services include education, nursing, and all kinds of pastoral work. In practical terms, this has often meant working in leprosarium, prisons, and visiting remote poverty-stricken areas. The Sisters will go wherever they are needed and do whatever is necessary, so that they can, like St. Paul, be “all things to all people”.

In 1727, in response to the personal request of King Louis XV, the first four missionaries set out for French Guiana, in South America, to the notorious Devil’s Island. After the French Revolution, despite the suppression of the Church, Napoleon called on the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres to go back to French Guiana where the need was great.

Now in the 21st century, the Sisters serve 34 countries, ready to answer both spiritual and human needs, anywhere and any time. For example, one of the largest groups can be found in Vietnam, where over 1,000 Sisters work in hospitals, orphanages and aged care facilities.

True to its humble origins, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres aspires to live the poverty and simplicity of Christ’s Gospel in genuine charity and humility, daring to trust in God alone.