Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres
The love of Christ impels us to manifest his tenderness and love
Father Louis Chauvet
When Fr. Louis Chauvet died on June 21, 1710 at the age of 46 he was a spiritually accomplished man.
Founder of a flourishing 14 year old Congregation known at that time - 1710 - as the Community of St. Maurice, known today as Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres.
He was a spiritual father, pastor, and educator who pioneered the establishment of School for girls in the region of Beauce, France. There were at least 5 in existence when he died.
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Fr. Louis Chauvet Trivia
Elements of the biography of Father Louis Chauvet prepared for the Mayor of Pertuis read at the unveiling of the plaque.
Louis Chauvet was born in Pertuis on the 16th of February 1664 and was baptized the day after, in the church of St. Nicolas.
In the middle of the 16th century, Etienne and Jehan Chauvet, who were both builders and lived in the village of Quinson near the lake of Ste Croix in the Alps of Haute Provence, went down the Durance Valley and settled in Pertuis.
In 1557, Jehan Chauvet married Honorade Aillaud and they had a large family and lots of descendants: they had a son called Grégoire who in his turn, had a son called Noé.
Louis Chauvet is the son of Noé and Marguerite de la Forest who came from the village of Cadenet and who was a sister of the notary of her village.
Louis's parents got married on the 22nd of May 1650. They had 9 children, but two of them died when they were still infants. Louis was their seventh child.
The children of Noé's first marriage also lived in the same house, but we don't know exactly who of them were still living. Among them was Jean who played an important role in the life of the community of Laroque d'Anthéron (next to Pertuis).
The Chauvet Family lived on the street called Rue Galante in the old Beaujeu district, in a house bought by their grandfather Grégoiré in 1585.
Noé Chauvet was a rich merchant, a wool carder, a weaver, and very much involved in the life of the city. He was on the city council of Pertuis, rector of St. Jacques hospital, prior of the St. Honorat brotherhood, prior of St. Antoine and St. Blaise botherhood, and a member of other brotherhoods.
In order to leave his family well provided for, he bought a house opposite his. He also owned land and vineyards scattered around Pertuis.
We do not know anything about Louis's life as a child or a schoolboy, in spite of the research that has been done with great care. However, we can easily imagine the young Louis playing down the road in the square called "Fountain of the Angel" or taking part in the pilgrimage to St. Honorat and St. Victoire with the people of Pertuis.
Thanks to a deed executed by a notary, we know for sure that he had already left Pertuis in November 1685 at the age of 21, with the expressed strong desire to become a priest.
He was ordained as a priest in the diocese of Avignon on the 13th of March 1688.
Unfortunately we haven't got any trace of him either in Avignon or in the diocese of Aix or in Petuis.
We find him again as a vicar, from 1690 to 1694 in Cergy near Paris, then in Champrond-en-Gâtines in the Eure-et-Loir region.
In June 1694, he became pastor of the parish of Levesville la Chenard, a small village of Eure-et-Loir.
That's where he worked for sixteen (16) years to raise the human and spiritual levels of the people of that region who were seriously affected by lots of social unrest, struggles and even violence.
To help him in his project, he soon developed the idea of gathering together a few young girls and training them so that they could become good school mistresses, and then they could teach the girls of the village who had no access to instruction until then. Very soon, they also visited the sick.
That's how Louis Chauvet became the founder of "Daughters of the School" in 1696.
Her was a Doctor of Theology and also the master of several students of philosophy among whom were three of his nephews from Pertuis, who all went to Levesville and became priests as well.
In 1708, the "Daughters of the School" also began working in different villages to strengthen the work Louis Chauvet had just started. So as to consolidate the newly created foundation, the Bishop ordered the Sisters to go to Chartres. He gave them the name of St. Paul, thus inviting them to follow the great Missionary Apostle.
Louis Chauvet died on the 21st of June 1710 at the age of 46 and was buried in the church of Levesville on the next day.
At the time he died, he left about 20 young sisters. The work he had started was still very modest and he couldn't foresee the extent and development of that community.
However, he was confident and ended his will saying "my charities to the poor will be carried out."
Such is the mission of the more than 4000 Sisters of St. Paul, spread out in 40 countries all over the world.