The Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross, founded in 1838, owes its origin to a humble young lady from Savoy, France, Claudine Echernier by name. Born on the 29th of May 1801, at Feternes a rural parish at Savoy, in a family richer in faith than in possessions, Claudine evinced from her young age a most astonishing thirst for knowledge and a great spiritual sensibility. Gripped by a deep personal love for Jesus Christ crucified, she responded to God’s call, after a hard life in the world, to fulfil her desire to belong entirely to God in the service of the neighbor.
With unshakeable faith in the Providence of God and being inspired by the courage of Mary at the foot of the Cross and with the guidance of Fr. Mermier, the founder of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales, Mother Claudine Echernier dedicated her life to eradicate the ignorance and misery of women. The name “Daughters of the Cross”, received from Fr. Mermier and approved by the Church signifies the special call to live more intensely the mystery of the Cross, “summary of our faith, foundation of our hope, rule of our life”.
By the grace of this mystery, the Sisters experience an ever growing joy in identifying themselves with Christ, in His merciful love: “He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). It is in embracing His Cross that we can overcome egoism and build a more fraternal life fully impregnated with the love of God.