67-2-11 | Mother Marie Léonie
Mother Marie Léonie
Gift of Mme André Cormier
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Keys to History
Mother Marie Léonie Paradis was born in the village of Acadie, in Quebec, in 1840. After entering the order of the Holy Cross Congregation in 1857, she became a teacher. She worked several years in New York at the orphanage of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, before eventually returning to teaching.
In 1874, she was transferred to Memramcook, New Brunswick, to head the nuns working at St. Joseph's College. There, in 1880, she founded the Petites Soeurs de la Sainte Famille, an institution dedicated to serving priests. Their convent was the former home of St. Thomas's Seminary.
A woman of exceptional conviction and courage, Mother Marie Léonie Paradis was, it is said, responsible for numerous miraculous healings. She died in Sherbrooke in 1912.
In this photograph, Mother Marie Léonie Paradis is wearing the habit of the Petites Soeurs de la Sainte-Famille Congregation.
Mother Léonie worked alongside Father Lefebvre, founder of St. Joseph's College, in Memramcook. The members of her congregation worked as housekeepers in this and other colleges run by the Holy Cross Congregation throughout Canada.
This photograph was taken about 1900, a few years before the death of Mother Léonie.
The inscription under the photograph reads, "Reverend Mother Marie Léonie. Founder and Mother Superior of the the Petites Soeurs de la Sainte Famille, who died on March 3, 1912, at 72 years of age."