Grandbourg – histoire

The Evry community in Essonne.

The community is on the edge of the city; our house is both withdrawn and at the heart of the city.

A little bit of history

Vieux Grandbourg

Vieux Grandbourg

Theodore Ratisbonne, who was born a Jew and led to faith by the Word of God, discovered in Jesus Christ that God is Love. In 1843, he founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion to witness to God’s faithful love for the Jewish people. From the beginning, Theodore wanted there to be sisters in the Congregation who lived a withdrawn life “in which the light of prayer would burn”. It took many years until his wish could be realized.

grandbourg_mere_christineIn 1910, an apostolic sister, Mother Christine, experienced something that turned her life upside down. From then on, she felt called to a contemplative life. But where? The thought of leaving Sion which she loved, tore her apart.

Only in 1926 did the contemplative branch come into being. It was first set up on the Fourvière hill in Lyon; in 1931, it was transferred to a house in Grand Bourg, which now belongs to the Evry commune in Essonne; the Argentinian general José de San Martin had lived there for 14 years of his exile.

The house was already called “The Solitude”, and the sisters kept that name, which corresponds well with the hidden life they want to lead at the heart of the Congregation and the world. In the years that followed, when other communities were founded (in Lourdes, in Israel, in Brazil, in Romania), this name became that of the whole contemplative branch.