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The Roman Union (7)

7. The Roman Union and the Order of Saint Ursula

On November 28, 1900, Pope Leo XIII approved the Roman Union of the Order of Saint Ursula : a religious congregation of pontifical right. The Generalate is in Rome. A missionary zeal sent the Sisters to China, Thailand, Alaska… The Roman Union is present in the whole world.

In 1901, Saint Joseph’s school was built in Saint-Saulve. In 1901, Canon Loridan, Chaplain of the Ursulines, wrote a book: “The Ursulines of Valenciennes, Before and After the Terror”.


Note by the Editor of this book : “Here is the reason of our choice of this book’s cover , a copy of « The Sisters of Charity in Arras ». The choice of Auguste Moreau-Deschanvres is warranted by the praise given to this painter in Valenciennes, and by the particular way he presents the atmosphere of the times ».

In 1908, the painter, Diogène Maillart, made two paintings on the martyrdom of the Ursulines of Valenciennes, at the request of the community in Saint-Saulve : one for the Chapel and one for the future beatification.

Diogène Maillart

After the law against religious Congregations in 1904, and the separation of the Church and State in 1905, the Ursulines experienced a new exile in Belgium. They bought an abandoned domain in Sirault, and built there new premises.
The furniture and the buildings of Saint-Saulve were shared in batches and acquired by Dubreucq Desfontaines for the Ursulines.

The convent in Saint-Saulve was given to the Archbishopric of Cambrai, in exchange for the Center for younger and older Seminarians. During the First World War, refugees were welcomed there, and in 1916, the Germans transformed it into a hospital. On June 13, 1920, Pope Benedict XVI beatified the 11 Ursulines of Valenciennes.

In 1920, their remains were found, and in 1926, Mgr Chollet signed a decree confirming that the remains were those of the Ursulines. Part of the remains were put in a reliquary placed in the Convent’s Chapel. In 1923, and a stained glass window relating the story of the Ursulines of Valenciennes was placed in Saint Vincent de Paul’s Chapel, in the Basilica of Notre Dame du Saint Cordon.

The Roman Union (7)


16 avril 2019

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