Venerable Anne de Xainctonge

painting of Venerable Anne de Xainctonge, c.1687, artist unknownProfile

Born to the wealthy French nobility, the eldest daughter of Jean de Xainctonge, a member of the Dijon Parliament, and of Lady Marguerite Collard. Watching boys being educated at a local Jesuit college led Anne to feel a call to found a similar uncloistered order of sisters dedicated to teaching and running free schools for girls, a radical idea at the time and much against her family’s wishes. She founded the Society of the Sisters of Saint Ursula of the Blessed Virgin, opening the first convent on 16 June 1606 at Dôle in Franche-Comté, then Spanish territory but part of modern France. The Ursulines were founded with “Our Lady as general, Saint Ursula as lieutenant”, and the Jesuit Rule, though some houses later adopted the Augustinian Rule. Mother Anne led the Ursulines for her remaining 15 years, expending them through areas of modern France and Switzerland. Known as something of a mystic, she was regularly seen to converse with her guardian angel.


  • 21 – 22 November 1567 in Dijon, Côte-d’Or, France



MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Anne de Xainctonge“. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 November 2018. Web. 19 December 2018. <>