Hospitallers of St Joseph
Hospitallers of St Joseph, female religious congregation founded in La Flèche, France, in 1636 by Jérôme le Royer de la Dauversière and Marie de la Ferre. The principal goal was to establish a religious congregation of hospitallers in New France. On her visit to France in 1657, Jeanne MANCE recruited some of the sisters from La Flèche to staff the HÔTEL-DIEU at VILLE-MARIE [Montréal], and in 1659, by letters patent of Louis XIV, the Hospitallers of St Joseph took over the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal. They later established other Hôtel-Dieu hospitals. Each convent was autonomous and responsible solely to the bishop (without any superior general).
Various movements arose in the 20th century to unite the nuns who could trace their origins to La Flèche: in 1953 the American and Canadian convents became one congregation, which the French congregations then joined in 1965. The generalate is in Montréal.