Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey, our foundress was born in a remote village in Burgundy, France, on 10th November 1779. She grew up to be a lively youngster, by refusing a proposal, she cleared her intentions to consecrating herself to God. During the revolution against the church in France, her courage, intelligence and initiatives saved lives of many outlawed priests. She was the first white to set foot on African soil, travelling through dense forest to free thousands of slaves. In South America she helped the lepers to move their colony near the sea where the salt water burnt their wound to a river side where she installed a dispensary for dressing their wounds regularly. In France her attention drew to the lunatics who were neglected, she introduced the occupational therapy something unknown during that time. Soon it became one of the most up-to-date psychiatric units in France.
Long years of toil and above all work in various parts of the globe was taking toll of her once-robust body, Anne Marie had the happiness of helping people in five continents. She gave back her beautiful soul to God on the 15th July, 1851.
Blessed Anne Marie's Vision on Education:
"I have promised God to give myself wholly to the service of the sick and the instruction of little children", she wrote in one of her letters to her father. Her programme of education gives us a keen insight into how she envisions a human being. She believed that all people are equal and have a right to human and spiritual formation and that education consists in helping a person "to be more" rather than in helping him/her "to have more". And she says, "It is not sufficient to have taught them how to work and satisfy these purely material needs, they must also know how live with others and themselves and to realize what they owe to God and their brethren". This prefigures what "vatll" would say about education. "A true education aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his ultimate end of the good of societies"