The Marianites of Holy Cross are a Roman Catholic congregation of women religious, part of the international Holy Cross Family of Sisters, Brothers and Priests founded by Fr. Basil Moreau in the 1800s.
The eleventh of fourteen children, Fr. Moreau was born to Louis and Louise Pioger Moreau in Laigné-en-Bélin, near Le Mans, France, on February 11, 1799. Because of the many needs of his time, he founded the Congregation of Holy Cross as an association of religious men and women working equally together for the building of the reign of God.
In the early years, the sisters supported the priests and brothers by providing domestic services to them and their students. They became known as the Marianites of Holy Cross and, in response to the needs of the times, the sisters soon began to minister in education and health care.
Fr. Moreau dedicated the Marianites to Mary, and in particular to Mary under her title of Our Lady of Sorrows or Our Lady of Seven Dolors. Leocadie Gascoin was the first woman in leadership for the Marianites. She received the religious name of Mother Mary of Seven Dolors and she worked very closely with Fr. Moreau in the development of the Marianites.
Today, the women of Holy Cross form three distinct congregations: Marianites of Holy Cross, Sisters of the Holy Cross, and Sisters of Holy Cross. The men and women religious of Holy Cross minister in Canada, Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. They are engaged in a variety of ministries fulfilling their commitment to continue the mission of Jesus Christ and the spirit of Fr. Moreau.
United with Mary standing at the foot of the cross, we, Marianites of Holy Cross, are apostolic religious, women of prayer and compassion. Our mission, energized by our life in community, is to incarnate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. Called to be a prophetic presence in an ever-changing world, we resolutely stand with those who are excluded.
Faithful to the vision of unity which inspired our founder, Fr. Basil Moreau, we, Marianites of Holy Cross, strive to be artisans of communion participating in the transformation of the Church and the world.