Our Begging Tradition

History of Begging

Our foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan, set before us a humble and charitable mission of begging for the needs of our elderly Residents. In 19th century France, poverty was extreme. Providing basic sustenance was a work of grace for Saint Jeanne Jugan. She was recognized by the begging basket she carried as she traveled the roads of France on foot seeking alms for the elderly in her care. Knocking on doors, she asked for money, but also for gifts in kind: food, clothing, wood, wool, or whatever was needed for the Home.

Begging Still Today

Like Saint Jeanne Jugan, we believe that if we are faithful to our mission of caring for the poor, God will provide. In lieu of a basket, today we have a “begging van." We go daily to the markets and places of business seeking food and commodities to offset operating expenses. We also appeal in Catholic parishes throughout the Commonwealth as a way to build friendships.

Relying on Divine Providence

Having been directed by our foundress to avoid maintaining an endowment, we continue to follow St. Jeanne Jugan’s example and rely on God’s Providence to make ends meet. From the very beginning she taught us to live from donation to donation and to beg daily to provide for the needs of the aged poor. We recognize that benefactors are indispensable partners in our mission, and we pray daily in gratitude for every kindness.

Please contact our Begging Sister, Sr. Rose Marie at (804) 248-0101 or colrichmond@littlesistersofthepoor.org if you are able to help. She will be happy to further introduce you to our mission and the many ways you can share in it.

Click here to give a gift.

“We’ll ring in God’s name and God will bless us!" – Saint Jeanne Jugan