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Sœurs de l'Immaculée Conception de Castres. Qui sommes-nous ?



The founder

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Chateau d'Hauterive Family house

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Sisters at the Mother House Castres 1902

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Rue de la Tolosane - Castres

The Congregation over the years

Mission in Senegal

Letter from a missionary in Gabon in 1948

Spirituality Mission Cté St Jacques - Castres 

Spirituality: Seeking the Interests of God Alone 

The spiritual journey of Jeanne-Émilie, founder of the Congregation


A life given to others...


Jeanne Émilie de Villeneuve was born in Toulouse on March 9, 1811 and died in Castres on 2 October 1854. From an early age, she lived in the Château d'Hauterive (near Castres),_cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_where his sick mother retired to take care of herself. She lost her mother at the age of 14 and three years after hersister Octavie.
After her mother's death, she lived for some time in Toulouse where her grandmother took charge of her education and that of her children.sisters. At 19, Jeanne-Émilie returned to Hauterive, where she managed family life, relieving her father of this task, then mayor of Castres (from 1826 to 1830 ).


She plans to join the “Daughters of Charity”. But, during the period of reflection imposed by her father, she created (with the agreement of her évêque), and in collaboration with two companions, the congregation of Notre Dame de l 'Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1836. The religious community quickly known as “sisters Bleues de Castres” because of the color of their habit.

In the anonymity of a house in Castres, she serves the poorest with her  companions: young workers, the sick, prostitutes, and convicts in prison. Then the congregation saw the number of itssisters, and its influence extends to Africa (Senegal, Gambia, Gabon).

In 1853 Jeanne-Émilie de Villeneuve resigned from her position as Superior General to be replaced bysister Hélène Delmas.


In 1854, the cholera epidemic reached Castres and the founder of thesisters Bleues will die on October 2, surrounded by hersisters.

Message timeliness

de Jeanne-Émilie de Villeneuve

The preferred option for the poor

The charisma of Jeanne-Émilie de Villeneuve perfectly explains the range and the diversity of skills implemented by the members of the community: 

  •  education,

  •  health,

  •  social,

  •   participation in the life of the local Church.

Jeanne-Émilie de Villeneuve calls on us to become missionaries where we are, by daring to take a stand for justice, peace, respect and attention to the_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_smaller... in all our places of life, and to do all this out of love, according to the motto  taken up by the Congregation: “go where the voice of the poor calls us”.



"Go where the voice of the poor calls us"

Jeanne-Émilie made availability and attention to the poor a priority; she took the risk of meeting the excluded, the prisoners or the poor girls of the rues de Castres... She devoted her life to caring for the sick , to the education of young people, to  evangelization, to prayer and charity.

The mission ofsisters bleues: go to the places of poverty


In general, if thesisters  Blue serve "God alone" according to the motto of their foundress, it is in the encounter with the poor that they are at her service. in the very spirit of their foundress, they are therefore sent to places of poverty:

  • on a mission of proximity with the people of the neighborhood, where they live,

  •   in community and parish life,

  • in various professional circles, in particular with the poor, les people in vulnerable situations,

  • with prisoners, street children, prostituted women or abused,

  • in the promotion of women, the pastoral care of children.



The spirituality of the Congregation

"God Alone"

Here is what Mother Jeanne-Émilie de Villeneuve expected from her companions: “The best way to respond to the grace of their vocation is to consider in everything_cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ that the interests of God Alone, his glory and the continual increase of his reign in thehearts ”.

Be in tune...

Jeanne-Émilie let resonate in herheart  the Word of God... Word that joined her  in her life as a woman. 


She calls us to take time to be silent and listen to what God is telling us.

Like her who knew how to listen to her family and hear la souffrance des jeunes de son period exploited in factories..., we are invited to working to help the people in difficulty, here at home and around the world. Its message is universal through its openness to other cultures in Africa, South America and  elsewhere.

And this listening to oneself, to others and to the world, Jeanne Émilie invites us to live it in union with Jesus the Savior and under his gaze of love.

Contemplate and act...

Jeanne-Émilie has created, built, written... throughout her life. But she knew how to root her action and see "God in all things and all things in God".

It calls us to tirelessly seek God present in theheart  of life, in the most small daily things... She invites us to sharpen our eyes to see the world “with the eyes of Jesus” and thus live a “contemplative action”.


Lyrics by Jeanne-Émilie

Jeanne-Emilie de Villeneuve offers us, according to her own experience, to live "the eyes fixed" on Jesus Savior (Heb 12, 2) to train us to imitate his obedience to the Will of Dad :

  • "More than ever I feel that I must live by the Will of our God and work without cease so that the life of Jesus may be established in my soul… stripping me of all that, in me, is an obstacle or an infidelity".

  • "The main thing will be to have a great spirit of faith in order to properly conform our thoughts, nos affections and the strength of our will to his divine examples: living the life of Jesus Saviour".

With eyes fixed on Jesus, "following his steps", serving "the poor and suffering members of Jesus Christ", thus fulfilling the "designs of love of his Father", go up with Him to Jerusalem "strong with the strength of Jesus crucified", "at the expense of our rest, our health, of our lives even if necessary, with a love full of trust". 

Identity card of “sisters Bleues”

Thesisters of the Immaculate Conception are intimately associated with Mary Immaculate.
Like her and through her intercession, it is given to them to:

  • Live as women loved by God.

  • Participate in the continual dynamic of the Incarnation.

  • Become disciples of Jesus Savior.

Name of the


Currency of

Founding date :




Skills :

Spoken languages :

Current situation :




Roadmap :



Life project: 

sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, say  "Les sisters bleues" due to the color of their original clothing.


Jeanne-Émilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854)

God Alone



December 8, 1836 (Constitutions approved in 1842 and revised in 2004).



  • in Africa in 1848,

  • in Europe in 1903,

  • in Latin America in 1904-1905,

  • in Asia-Pacific in 1998.


Education, health, social, participation in the life of the local Church.


French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English


About 600 members, divided into 124 communities in 18 countries:
France, Spain, Italy, Senegal, Guinea Bisau, Burkina Faso, Benin, Gabon, DR Congo, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, Haiti, Philippines.


  •   Community life,

  •  Personal prayer,

  •  Community prayer,

  •  Brotherly Relations,

  •  Family spirit,

  •  Simplicity,

  •   Eucharist and sacraments,

  •  life proofreading,

  •  Contemplation in action.

Religious of Apostolic Life, disciples of Jesus Savior, desirous of to propose the Gospel and to promote life, peace and justice through various actions .

congr. vie des soeurs
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