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Bl. Alix Le Clercq

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Feastday: October 22

Alix Le Clercq was born at Remiremont in the duchy of Lorraine in 1576. Her family was a solid one, of good position, but little is known about her life until she was nearly seventeen. Alix was attractive and intelligent, what the French call "spirituelle." About this time, she became a nun. When her family moved to Hymont, she met Peter Fourier, who became her spiritual director, and in 1597 she and three other women formed a new foundation under his direction. At her father's insistence, she went to a convent at Ormes, was unimpressed by its secular atmosphere, and in 1598 the wealthy Judith d'Apremont gave Alix and her group a house on her estate, which they used as their Motherhouse in the founding of a new congregation dedicated to the education of children. Despite opposition from Alix's father and others, and the lack of formal ecclesiastical approval, they established several new foundations. In 1616 they received two papal bulls formally approving the Augustinian Canonesses of the Congregation of Our Lady from Rome. Differences about what the bulls granted and internal strife caused Father Fourier to replace Alix as superioress of the Congregation, and the last years of her life were bitter, as even Father Fourier seemed to turn against her. She died in her convent at Nancy on January 9, and was beatified in 1947.


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