Founded in 1619 by Virginia Centurione (d. 1651), daughter of the Doge of Genoa and wife of Gasparo Grimaldi Bracelli (d. 1625), who during a time of famine gathered a number of abandoned children into a home, which she called Santa Maria del Refugio dei Tribolati in Monte Calvario. Under her inspiration those associated with her in the work decided to lead a common life, follow the rule of St. Francis, and pledge themselves to the service of the poor and sick. They bound themselves, however, by no vows, but by a solemn promise of perseverance. Among the prominent Genoese who promoted the work of the sisters was the Marquess Emmanuele Brignole, through whose munificence a second house was founded, in 1641, after which the sisters were often called "le suore Brignole." The congregation soon spread through northern Italy. In 1815 Pius VII invited the sisters to Rome, and in 1833 Gregory XVI assigned them a house on the Esquiline, near the church of St. Norbert, now the chief house of the institute.
A congregation of secular priests , formed in 1633 by Hubert Charpentier to honour the Sacred Passion and to spread and maintain the Faith especially in regions under Huguenot control. The first houses were at Betharram in the Diocese of Lescar and at Notre Dame de Ceraison in the Diocese of Auch. United with a similar association formed by the Capuchin, Pere Hyacinthe, at the instance of Louis XIII, on Mont-Valérien near Paris, the congregation received royal confirmation in 1650. Later the pastors of Paris were admitted to membership, and during Holy Week pilgrimages were made from different parishes of Paris to Mount Valérien. The society did not survive the Revolution.
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