The history of the Sisters of Nazareth can be traced back to 1851 when Victoire Larmenier, a young novice in Rennes, France was sent to England

Victoire Larmenier was born on 21st July 1827 at Liffré, near Rennes, France. She was initially educated at the village school and then sent as a boarder to the Ursuline convent at Vitré. In 1845, Victoire left home and set up a small haberdashery business in Rennes. Her shop was in the poorest part of the town. It was here that her religious vocation developed under the influence of Father Gandon, one of the curates.

The Little Sisters of the Poor had recently established a house for the elderly poor in Rennes, and Victoire became acquainted with them and their work. She was influenced by their commitment to the poor, and with Father Gandon’s encouragement, she gave up her successful business and entered the Paris novitiate of the Little Sisters of the Poor in February 1851.

Soon after, Victoire and another four Sisters were sent to start a foundation in London. Within a few months, Victoire was appointed Superior. The foundation community, despite its lack of resources, gradually gathered poor elderly people into its care.

The Sisters built the first Nazareth House at Hammersmith, which opened in October 1857.

In 1861, the Hammersmith community separated from the Little Sisters of the Poor, and three years later they were recognised as a diocesan religious community under the title, Sisters of Nazareth.

Within a short period, the mission had extended and houses were opened in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1862; Cardiff, Wales in 1872 and Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1876. Under the leadership of Victoire a total of eight Nazareth Houses were founded in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. In June 1878 Victoire Larmenier died, leaving behind the strong roots that she had established.

The Congregation continued to expand – this time globally. Houses were opened in Cape Town, South Africa in 1882; Ballarat, Australia in 1888; Christchurch, New Zealand in 1905 and San Diego, USA in 1924.

The work of the Sisters of Nazareth continues today, with 33 residences in operation across the world.

To find out how we can support you or to arrange a personal tour, contact the Nazareth Care team today on 1300 NAZARETH (1300 629 273).

Victoire Larmenier Mother St. Basil
Foundress and 1st Superior General

Nazareth House, Ballarat, Australia
First opened in 1888

“It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.”
- Mother Teresa