Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau
Founder of the sisters, brothers and priests of Holy Cross
The example and the teaching of Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau continue to inspire the religious family of sisters, brothers and priests of Holy Cross, which he founded to serve the people of God.
Born on February 11, 1799, in Laigné-en-Belin near Le Mans, France, Father Moreau experienced the devastating consequences of the French Revolution. Ordained a priest at 22 years of age, he taught and served as assistant superior of the major seminary in Le Mans. Deeply committed to preaching and Christian education in France, he laid the foundations for the society of auxiliary priests.
In 1835, at the bishop’s request, he took direction of the Brothers of St. Joseph, founded in 1820 by Father Jacques Dujarié. On March 1, 1837, the auxiliary priests and the Brothers of St. Joseph were united into the Association of Holy Cross. With papal approval in May 1857, this association became the Congregation of Holy Cross.
In 1841, to respond more effectively to the mission, Father Moreau founded a group of women religious. Placing them under the special patronage of Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, Father Moreau encouraged the sisters to be associated with her as women of faith and compassion, and promoted twelve virtues as a way of life. Today, the women form three distinct congregations: Marianites of Holy Cross, Sisters of the Holy Cross, and Sisters of Holy Cross.
Although Father Moreau resigned as superior general in 1866, he continued an active preaching and retreat ministry until his death on January 20, 1873.
Today, men and women religious of Holy Cross minister in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia. They are engaged in a variety of ministries fulfilling their commitment to continue the mission of Jesus in the spirit of Father Moreau.
With heartfelt gratitude and pride, the Holy Cross family of sisters, brothers and priests celebrated the beatification of Father Moreau on September 15, 2007.
Lord Jesus, source of all that is good,
you inspired Blessed Basil Moreau
to found the religious family of Holy Cross
to continue your mission among the people of God.
May he be for us a model of the apostolic life,
an example of fidelity
and an inspiration as we strive to follow you.
May the Church be moved to proclaim his saintliness
for the good of all people.
Lord Jesus, you said, "Ask and you shall receive."
I dare to come to you to ask
that you hear my prayer.
It is through the intercession
of Blessed Basil Moreau
that I ask ...
May I learn to imitate his holiness and service
and look to him confidently in times of need.