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A History of the Franciscan Sisters of Bon Secours Congregation

The Bon secours congregation has a fascinating prehistory that starts 126 years before it official foundation in 1732. Father Gaston Laurence Coeurdon,French Jesuit missionary was caught in storm on his sail to India. He Vowed to start a Carmelite convent and a refuge home if he reached safely. FatherCoeurdon’s, touched the shore in Pondicherry safe and he was happy that it was God given time to exercise his missionary Zeal and fulfill his vow. With the support of a pious young woman and two widows he started a small home in a hut in Ariyankuppam 1748. This Carmelite home was the forerunner of Bon Secours Congregation. Fr.Coeurdon was looking for a chance to start an orphanage to fulfill his second vow to the Almighty. The arrival of Fr.Michael Ansaldo to Pondicherry in 1771, enabled Fr. Coeurdon to fulfill his second vow as they together started two Refuge Homes. Bon Secours Refuge Home and St.Louis De Gonzaga Refuge Home. These two Refuge Homes later he came Bon Secours and Gonzaga Congregation. The Refuge Homes sheltered orphan Childrenand young widows. They were trained to live orderly pious lives. Fr. Micheal Ansaldo aimed to preface them for life through education and spiritual formation. Fathers LehodeyDefius , Friar, Daras and Ligeon strived to elevate the orphanages into religious orders. Fr.Lehodey became Parish Priest of Pondicherry Cathedral in 1843. He selected few dedicated girls from the orphanages and formed the first group of Aspirants. After 3 years of training they were to be accepted as sisters of the order and adopted the Franciscan rules and wore black saree. The investiture of the first Postulants took place on 17th September 1858. In the year 1861, 7 sisters took their final vows as religious. 
1. Sr.Mariammal, alias Bangarammal
2. Sr.Arockia Mary, alias Ponnamani
3. Sr.MaryManickam, ailasKanikaiammal
4. Sr.MaryNambikkai, alias Margaret
5. Sr. Mary Sandhu, alias Maria Pragasam
6. Sr. Snegappo,aliasAnugurimu
7. Sr. Mary Francis, alias Dhavamuthu 
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