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Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin

Called to be the lovers of the world and preachers of hope
Foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin

Blessed Marie Poussepin

Blessed Marie Poussepin, the Foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin was born in Dourdan, France, on October 14, 1653, as the eldest daughter of Claude Poussepin and Julienne Fourrier.  Although they were blessed with six more children, all except Claude, the youngest, died in their infancy.   Her Father, Claude was actively involved in all the parish activities and her mother, Julienne, was treasurer of the confraternity of Charity dedicated to the care of the sick poor and Marie accompanied her mother on her visits to the poor and sick. Marie, a gifted student, pious and open, attended the only school in the town, managed by a group of pious laypeople.

The death of her mother, when she was only 22 years old, was a tragic experience. This was followed by her father’s critical financial problems, illness, and death in the year 1683. The full responsibility for the family as well as for the business rested on her shoulders and she managed it successfully.


 With dramatic setbacks generated by emerging industrialization, she became an innovator of manufacturing techniques in her industry of making stockings, by introducing looms instead of hand knitting and using wool instead of silk, which was more profitable.  Her business was also a prospect for her to provide job opportunities for the young uneducated youth of the town. She contributed much to the economic and social development of the city of Dourdan. At the same time, she cultivated an intense spiritual life supported by charitable activities and the spirituality of the Third Order of St. Dominic. she even took Marie Olivier, a sick widow to her home and cared for her in her room until her death.


Nevertheless, the Lord called her to a greater vocation. In 1696, after having heard about the ignorance and misery in Sainville, 17 kilometers away from Dourdan, she decided to commit herself totally to the service of charity. Entrusting the enterprise to her brother Claude, she went to Sainville leaving her home, securities, and the fame that surrounded her in Dourdan.   


On November 13, 1697, Marie Poussepin signed an Act in front of the notary, in which she explicitly declares her desire to establish in Sainville "a Community of the Third Order of St. Dominic, for the benefit of the parish, for the instruction of youth and the service of the sick poor”.


The Dominican spirit of Marie Poussepin’s work is manifested through the solidity of its Institution. The spirituality of her institute is both Christo-Centric and Marian. She placed her Community under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the mystery of her Presentation.

Innovative for her time, Marie Poussepin wanted neither cloister nor solemn vows for her sisters: "go wherever you are called" to provide charitable services there. She established the first Dominican Community of women of apostolic life. From 1697 to 1742, she established twenty foundations in six dioceses.


After a   long and committed life at the service of God, family, and society, the Lord called her for her well-deserved eternal reward on January 24, 1744, at the age of 90. The epitaph on her tomb speaks for her holy life “Here lies the body of humble, pious and charitable Marie Poussepin.”  The church, officially recognizing the Holiness of Marie Poussepin, beatified her, the “social apostle of charity,” on   November 20, 1994, in Rome.


Who are we?

Dominican Sisters of the Presentation, an international communityis responding creatively to human needs today and there are about 3000 sisters serving the people in 36 countries in 4 continents of the world each according to her own gifts and talents. Through Charity, the binding force of our lives, we are united in our service to the love of God and humanity.


Mutual charity, which should be found among persons in community, must be based on that which Jesus Christ had for men and not based on relationships or alliance nor should it be according to mood or favors received or to be received, and it should not seek one’s own interest. True Charity will lead them to cordiality, graciousness, mutual admonition and deference in all things. It will invite them to bear with one another in their weaknesses and imperfections. It will inspire them always to judge other’s actions favorably r to excuse the intention when they cannot justify their actions.(Rule of Sainville). Charity, love of God and our brothers and sisters, should be the soul of the community (Ratio Formationis).

Dominican Spirituality

Listening to God, as He has revealed himself in the past AND listening to the “signs of the times present” through which the very same God in his loyalty to Himself and to us, appeals to us, is essential for Dominican Spirituality “To be present to God” AND to be “present to the world” are the two qualities which characterize the essence itself of Dominican Spirituality throughout the history of the Order.

  • The Dominican is dedicated to TRUTH: “ To ponder his law day ad night”: to contemplate and share with others the fruit of contemplation, to lead others into Christ who is truth – this is the essence of Dominican Study
  • The Dominican study aims to give the preacher the attitude of St. Paul: “Woe to me if I do not preach”
  • Dominicans are to be given over to the Liturgical Life of the Church, to be genuinely taken up in the mystery of Christ which they proclaim. They are to offer the prayer of the Church for the good of the Church, to join in Christ’s own prayer I the heavenly sanctuary not made b hands.
  • They are to live the Vowed Life – to be conformed to the example of Christ who was obedient, poor and chaste.
  • The Dominican lives under the discipline of Monastic Observance.
  • The Dominican is called to Apostolic Mobility

Filled with the water of life, the water of mercy that flows from the side of Christ, the Dominican is to turn and share that water as widely, as generously as he/she can.

Community Life

Called by the Lord, we are gathered in His name to know and announce Jesus Christ according to the project of the Congregation. We realize it primarily in local communities, each with its own characteristics and distinctive mission. Christ is our unity: we live of His love among our sisters and brothers, strengthened by the sharing of the Word and of the Bread. Each community thus fulfills in itself the mystery of the Church and participates in building the Kingdom.

Simplicity, Work & Poverty: This radical response to the Gospel places us in the Simplicity of those who seek God: nothing and no one can divide our hearts or stop our generosity. Filled with honesty, truth, sincerity, and purity of intention simplicity enables us to accept our possibilities and limitations.

  • It is expressed in fidelity to the inner call and the capacity to be oneself. It gives priority to the common good over personal conditions and interests.
  • Simplicity is shown also at the level of humble, truthful, merciful and spontaneous community relationships.
  • It excludes rash judgments, justifications.
  • It expresses itself in our houses, dress and diet.

As in the laborious life of Christ, Work gives us the ability to put at the service of others the gift received from God. It is a means of evangelization and participation in the mission of the Church; it gives dignity and autonomy to the human person.

  • Our work expresses our belonging to the congregation.
  • For us, all work is mission and it requires the organization of our time.
  • Work done with competence and responsibility gives an apostolic witness.
  • Jesus takes upon himself the poverty of our human nature, because from there He can reveal God.

To follow Jesus Poor, leads to detachment & austerity. Poverty is the total gift of what we are and have, it is surrender in the hands of the Lord. It is gratuitousness, rejection of all kinds of idols in our life. It makes us credible in the proclamation of the Gospel to the degree that we:

  • Resist the temptation presented to us by our consumer society, easy life, and comfort,
  • Remain free from the manipulations of ideologies, persons and situations which lead us to a lack of authenticity
  • Become poor with the poor, at the service of the poor. Only the one who has experienced their suffering can in truth, announce the Gospel.

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