Consecrated lay women
The birth of the Women’s Branch of Notre Dame de Vie Institute came about during providential encounter in Easter 1929 between Venerable Marie-Eugene and three young professors from Marseille. They would become the foundation stones of the Institute. The aspirations of the young ladies matched the desire of Venerable Marie Eugene to reveal the love of God and spread the doctrine of Carmel to a big number of souls outside the confines of religious convents. These professors were prepared to make the complete gift of their lives to the ideal presented by Venerable Marie Eugene.
On March 14, 1932, Venerable Marie Eugene and Marie Pila visited the Marian shrine in Venasque, France that would one day become the first Center of Solitude of Notre Dame de Vie Institute. Within the year, the small group took possession of the property which had been offered Venerable Marie Eugene for a Carmelite work.
The Institute Notre Dame de Vie was there in embryo: its members would henceforth tend to unite action, in the form of an ordinary secular work in the midst of the world, and contemplation, by their daily prolonged prayer and their regular return to solitude.”
Claude Escallier, Marie Pila: The Power of True Love
Notre-Dame de Vie Institute was recognized and erected as a secular institute of diocesan right in 1948. In 1962, it received the Decretum Laudis from Rome which granted it pontifical right.
Today, the members of the Women’s Branch of Notre Dame de Vie number around five hundred and are present in three continents:
- - Europe: France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Belgium
- - Asia: Philippines, Japan, Taiwan
- - America: Canada, United States, Mexico, Argentina
The Women’s Branch of the Institute is in charge of the direction of several educational institutions in different places in the world.