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A Little History On The Society of St. Ursula

The crest of the Society of St. Ursula gives us some additional insight into the life and belief of the founder of the Society, Anne de Xainctonge. Anne's own words are inscribed in Latin above the crest: "For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain." The central role of Mary, the mother of God, in the Society is evident throughout the rest of the crest. The letters in the center of the crest represent Maria, or Mary. The star and the crown call to mind titles which the Church confers on Mary: Star of the Sea and Queen of Heaven. The lilies on the side of the crest are also a symbol of Mary. The letters SNS, on the bottom of the crest are the first letters of a Latin phrase which translated means "Hail our hope.". Anne established a new way of living religious life, refusing the cloister, insisting her sisters have the freedom to go out to serve, a daring and prophetic idea for that era.

Celebrating 400 years, the Sisters of the Society of Saint Ursula have lived out her vision, adapting themselves to the demands of each new age, being supported and challenged by life in community.


Rooted in Jesus Christ and in the spirituality of Ignatius Loyola, they have shared Anne's mission for the human and spiritual development of those whom they are called to serve.

Today, the Federation of the Society of Saint Ursula, nearly 400 sisters, is present on four continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Their ministry focuses on the areas of education, social justice, spirituality and pastoral ministry.

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