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Icône de sainte Marie-Léonie

View of Mother Marie-Léonie on the Holy Family

Icône de la sainte Famille

"Glory to Jesus! Love to Mary! Trust in Joseph!"

Mother Marie-Léonie Paradis

Sainte Famille

The Holy Family, a popular devotion in Canada

In the days of Alodie-Virginie Paradis' youth, it was common to see a picture of the Holy Family adorning a wall in a home. This popular devotion has remained in the hearts of many Catholics, who have grown up remembering this picture that they have so often contemplated in their childhood home.

It is therefore not surprising that the foundress of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family was inspired by Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the realization of her work, especially since the values conveyed by the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth corresponded to the mission of her Institute.

The Holy Family, a source of caring


"All united in the heart of Jesus, of Mary and of Joseph."

Mother Marie-Léonie often expressed her wish to gather the members of her community in the heart of Jesus, of Mary and of Joseph. To her patron saints she entrusted her nuns as well as their spiritual and temporal interests, in the confidence of obtaining protection, assistance and success. 

She invited her companions to invoke the Holy Family "often, especially in difficulties and embarrassments". She said, "In all the little annoyances that are encountered everywhere in life, you will work courageously under the eyes of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, offering all your little pains, labors, sufferings, in union with those of our good Savior."

The Holy Family, a presence in daily life

Mother Marie-Léonie suggested: "Offer your work to God every morning with this short prayer.

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I dedicate all the moments of my day to you."

Since her childhood, Mother Marie-Léonie had the habit of invoking the Holy Family, as much for the small things in life as for important events. As a child, she would ask the Blessed Virgin to find a lost object for her mother. Later she entrusted her with the vocations of the young girls who joined her. She asked St. Joseph for various favors and even put him in charge of the construction of the motherhouse of her Institute as the main architect. Finally, she relied on Jesus to spread God's blessings to all her Little Sisters, but also to families and other congregations.

Jésus Marie Joseph au travail

This large piece of art was painted by a Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood of Sherbrooke and given to the Institute of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family in 1907, the year of Mother Marie-Léonie's golden jubilee of religious profession.

Jésus Marie Joseph

Mother Marie-Léonie was able to transmit to her Little Sisters her fervent devotion to the Holy Family. Click here to discover how the generations of nuns who succeeded her in the Institute came to say, like their foundress:

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