A congregation founded in 1803 by Canon Triest, who was known as "the St. Vincent de Paul of Belgium ", for he was the founder as well of the Brothers of St. John of God , and the Sisters of the Infant Jesus. When curé of Lovendeghem he laid the foundations of this congregation, and gave up his living to devote himself to training its members. He obtained the first papal recognition in 1806 and in 1816 he went to Rome to get the final approbation, which he received by Brief on September 9th of that year. The mother-house is at Ghent and there are forty branch-houses. The congregation is one of the largest in Belgium. In 1889 some of the sisters at the request of the Belgian Government went to the Congo Missions in Africa, and founded several houses there. In 1895 they went to India and opened two boarding-schools in the Punjab, and one in Ceylon. In 1888, at the invitation of the late Cardinal Vaughan, the sisters went to England and founded a large convent at Tottington near Manchester. Their principal work is teaching in their training-colleges, boarding and day-schools, and orphanages ; they also nurse the infirm; they are inclosed and there are no lay-sisters. The interior spirit is one of simplicity, devotion and zeal for the salvation of souls. The congregation has over a thousand members. The habit is white with a black scapular for the professed, the novices wearing a white veil and scapular. The novitiate lasts a year.
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