Introducing the Constitutions

Little Sister Magdeleine carrying her work on the constitutions wrapped in a red scarfLittle Sister Magdeleine carrying her work on the constitutions wrapped in a red scarf

The Constitutions of the Little Sisters of Jesus begin with this letter from Little Sister Magdeleine, their foundress.

Dear little sister.

The aim of' these Constitutions is to help you to follow Christ more closely by the path of the Gospel, in the spirit of the Beatitudes. It is only if you live them each day with great inner freedom, responsive to the Spirit of Love, that you will be faithful to your call: 

  • To be a witness to a contemplative life centred on the mystery of the Eucharist and lived in the midst of the world, especially the world of the poor, 
  • To be a witness to spiritual childhood taking as your model the infant Jesus in the manger, as Mary his mother held him out to us the moment he was bom,
  • To be a witness to Gospel poverty, in imitation of Jesus, the workman from Nazareth, 
  • To be a witness to keeping faith with the Church and the Holy Father in child-like love,  
  • Above all, to be a witness to the love that springs from the infinite charity of Jesus' heart and goes out to everyone as a brother or sister. 

This is the charism of the Little Sisters of Jesus.

Without turning aside from loyal obedience to those in charge, you will always regard love as taking precedence over all rules. Sisterly, universal love will be the rule of rules for you. You must give witness to it in the world so that the presence of the Lord in your midst will be recognized by this sign. This is the chief work of your whole life. In each human face you will see the face of Jesus, remembering that whatever you do to the least of his brothers and sisters you do to him.

The guiding light of your life will be Jesus of Bethlehem and Nazareth. Your personal fidelity determines the extent to which the Little Sisters of Jesus, now your family, will remain faithful to God's plan for us and our mission in the Church and the world. In this way we will respond to the needs of each age and to the hopes of the coming generations.

In these pages you will find the spirit of the Gospel as Brother Charles of Jesus lived it. May he always remain our father and guide on the road he traced for us, and may he teach us to love Jesus without limit, Jesus our sole model. May he teach us ‘to cry the Gospel with our whole life’!

Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus

Rome, 15 May 1982