The history of the Congregation begins  at Beignon (Morbihan) France, the birthplace of the founders Gabriel Deshayes and Michelle Guillaume.

The French Revolution had left this rural parish along with many others, in a state of great human and spiritual poverty.

Gabriel Deshayes, priest, was preoccupied over this situation.

With Michelle Guillaume, local young woman, keen to enter the religious life, he will found a school to instruct and catechise the country girls.

Their project takes form on the 5th May 1807

The availability of Michelle Guillaume, together with the audacity and apostolic zeal of Gabriel Deshayes has made of this first and humble form of mission, the origin of the Congregation of the Sisters of Christian Instruction, called St Gildas.


Small Town in the Morbihan,  about 25 kilometres from Rennes; watered by the river Aff.

Close to the Paimpont Forest and the military camp of Coetquidan.

Birthplace of the founders of the sisters of Christian Instruction : Gabriel Deshayes and Michelle Guillaume.

Beignon is called the “ Cradle “ of the Congregation.

Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois

The project grows rapidly. Father Gabriel Deshayes, founder, must look for a bigger house to welcome the growing Congregation. In 1828, he purchases the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, abandoned since the Revolution.

The Abbey of Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, was created in the Xith century by Simon de rupe, lord of la Roche-Bernard.

It owes its name to a holy monk, Gildas, whose relics were brought here from Rhuys.

From the distant past, there remains the church built in the XIIth century and the old well inside the cloisters.

At the time of the Revolution, there were only 5 monks left. The abbey became “ national property “, and then private property.