Mattaincourt, Grand Est, France, 1600.
Portrait of Sister Alix Le Clerc, named Mother Thérèse de Jésus
Alix Le Clerc was born on February 2, 1576 in Remiremont (France). After a grave illness, she decided to abandon mundane life to devote herself to God. With the help of Pierre Fourier, a priest in Mattaincourt, she established a new congregation of women dedicated to the free education of girls, the Congrégation Notre-Dame. After a first school was opened in Poussay in 1598, many others were established in the region of Lorraine and in the rest of France, even after the death of Alix Le Clerc in 1622.