Rosalie Cadron-Jetté

Founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté was a wife, mother, grandmother, widow, religious and founder of a religious community. A woman of great charity, she was always concerned about the welfare of others and, over time, she placed herself at the service of single mothers in distress. Thanks to her and her work, thousands of women have experienced a non-judgmental welcome and have regained their human dignity and tasted the merciful love of Christ.

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté is still an inspiring person to discover and a very current model of unconditional love.

Discover its history

Capsules on Rosalie Cadron-Jetté

Videos produced by the Diocese of Montreal to highlight the venerability of Rosalie

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté – Her civil life

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté – The Institute of the Misericordia Sisters

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté – Her cause of canonization

The flower that symbolizes Rosalie

The violet flower has long been associated with Rosalie Cadron-Jetté.

During events in the community of the Misericordia Sisters or in the International Family of Misericordia, we notice the presence of bouquets of violets.

In addition, the Prayer to Rosalie is housed in a spray of violets.

Where does this association come from? If we refer to the Positio, Dossier on the virtues and reputation for holiness of Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, Volume 1, we can read, on page 345, a text by Mother Marie-Claire, General Secretary at the time, entitled Memories of Unforgettable Days, May 9-10-11, 1931.

During the transfer of the remains of Mother de la Nativité to the Motherhouse in Cartierville, on May 11, 1931, “Mother St. Beatrice, while walking around the garden, saw in a secluded corner some pretty violets which she immediately picked. What could be more symbolic and appropriate to adorn the tomb of our Mother Foundress? And so the sweet violets, which so well recall the humility of our Mother, will remain on her tomb for as long as the blessed bones are exposed.

Since then, this tiny flower, which adorns our Quebec forests with a purplish carpet in the spring, has been associated with Rosalie because of its humility, simplicity and modesty!

Rosalie's lantern

The lantern is an important symbol in the International Family of Mercy, as it represents Rosalie.

When Rosalie walked the streets of Montreal at night, she held a small lantern in one hand to light her way. She also used this lantern to visit the sick in their rooms at night.

Rosalie’s authentic lantern is on display at the FIM House Museum.

It is also said that on the night of her death, Rosalie appeared to the Sisters who were suddenly awakened in the dormitory at the same time as the single mothers. They did not recognize her, thinking she was an elderly sister. Rosalie walked around the beds holding a small lantern. During her life, Rosalie was like a small light, humble, hidden, not trying to shine and spread its brightness. Rosalie is close to the people of today. She still comes to enlighten us with her lantern.

Over the years, Rosalie has remained a symbol of light. She is a light that illuminates our difficult moments. She is a light on our path: she guides us and enlightens us.

On November 21, 2015, an important moment for the International Family of Mercy was experienced in the Rosalie Tomb Room of the Cartierville Motherhouse. Twenty-two Mission Links people have been mandated to implement innovative ways to ensure the transmission of Rosalie’s Charisma in their environment.

The Charism of Mercy, which has been entrusted to all those lay people involved in the International Family of Mercy, is a precious spiritual treasure that is dear to us and must be shared.

It is now the turn of the laity to discover, deepen, develop and actualize this charism in the face of ever-changing challenges to ensure an environment of mercy for mothers in distress, their children and their loved ones.

During this event, a lantern was given to each of the 22 Mission Link people by Sr. Monique Lallier, Superior General.

The lantern symbolizing the Charism of Rosalie, conferred by the Sisters of Mercy, is clearly visible in the various circles of the International Family of Mercy.

(Rosalie-Cadron-Jetté Center, 2016)

The descendants of Rosalie Cadron-Jetté

An overview of the first generation of descendants

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté is the daughter of Antoine Cadron-dit St-Pierre and Rose Roy-dit Desjardins. She was born in Lavaltrie on January 27, 1794 and remained the only child of the couple until the birth of her sister Sophie 12 years later. On October 7, 1811, at the age of 17, she married “a young traveler”, 33 years old, named Jean-Marie Jetté.

Rosalie Cadron-Jetté is one of the rare founders of a religious work that has left descendants. Here is what we read about it in the book of the Positio, where it lists, first of all, its spiritual heritage:

“When Mother de la Nativité died on April 5, 1864, she left behind 33 professed sisters, 5 novices and 6 postulants. From May 1, 1845 to April 5, 1864, the Institute welcomed 2244 girls and women in maternity situations outside of marriage, many of whom consecrated themselves to the Lord. In addition, a large number of poor women were assisted at home, an average of 200 annually.”

The question of his generativity is then brought in by the enumeration of his descendants at the time of his death, and the promise of life that they then carried within them to ensure the future of the family:

“At the time of her death, 6 of Rosalie Cadron-Jetté’s (11) children, all married, were alive; 4 of these children had given her 41 grandchildren, and 3 more would be born in the years following her death. Four of Rosalie’s grandchildren married before her death; thus she became a great-grandmother a little over a year before her death. The founder also left her sister Sophie married to François Laberge, as well as several nieces and nephews.”

(Positio: Dossier on the virtues and reputation for holiness of Rosalie, Volume 1, Rome, 1994, page 412).

Joseph Jean-Marie

Rosalie gave birth to her first child on June 12, 1812. The parents call him Joseph Jean-Marie. A shoemaker by trade, he married Marguerite Gallant at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal on September 29, 1835. Thereafter, with the exception of the 1850 U.S. census where he is listed with his wife as “Jo Sta” as a resident of the town of Plattsburgh, no record of his life’s journey is found. Consequently, no descendants are known to this day.


On June 19, 1813, the Cadron-Jetté parents welcomed their first daughter, Rose. Her marriage to Romuald Thomas was celebrated on July 29, 1833 at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Although the couple had eight children, their descendants only continued through the respective lines of their twins Joseph Jean-Marie and Maximin-Norbert.

These were indeed the origin of several family stocks, many of which took root in the parishes of St. Brigid and St. Peter the Apostle, near the Hospital of Mercy founded by Mother de la Nativité. It is to be hoped that the efforts currently underway to trace the living representatives of this branch will soon prove fruitful.


Pierre, the third child of the family, was born on May 7, 1815. He takes for wife Geneviève Paul on October 26, 1841. Three of their children died in infancy and their only daughter, Marie-Rose de Lima, remained single. This branch of the family has no descendants. Pierre, who was also a cobbler, was especially noted for his faithfulness in keeping the commitment he made, at his father’s deathbed, to support Rosalie in the heavy family responsibilities that would fall to her after his death.

That is why, without ever failing to provide for the material and financial needs of the household, he continued to live under the same roof as his mother for eleven years.


Another Jetté boy was born in Lavaltrie on December 3, 1817. His name is François. The marriage certificate attesting to his union with Henriette Castagnier has not yet been traced, but knowing that their first child Hedwidge was born in New York, it is highly likely that the document could be found there. François and Henriette had 14 children of whom 6 left an estate.

The census work carried out so far attributes 203 descendants still living to him. Although a significant number of them have adopted American citizenship, the majority still live on Canadian soil, and would even form the largest cohort of Rosalie descendants in Quebec.


The fifth child of Rosalie and Jean-Marie was born on April 30, 1819. In reference to a significant event that occurred a few weeks before her birth, this second daughter was given the name Léocadie. In the seventh month of her pregnancy, Rosalie had courageously helped her mother to save the lives of two unborn twins, whose parents had demanded by threat that they be burned immediately after delivery. Once they were out of danger and in the care of the Grey Nuns, Rosalie became so attached to one of them that she had her own daughter named after her.

Léocadie will marry Pierre Barnabé Laroche at the Notre-Dame Basilica on November 14, 1842. The couple had four children, but it is only thanks to the union of his only son Zotique with Adèle Bengle in 1879, that this branch of Rosalie’s family continues to grow today. To the best of our knowledge, there are at least 81 living descendants, most of whom live in the greater Montreal area.

Léonard Henri (Honoré Henry)

The sixth child was named Léonard Henri (Honoré Henry) and was born on May 28, 1821. He married Anastasie Hubout dit Tourville on November 27, 1843 and 14 children were born of their union. The five who left descendants all settled in the United States, hence the change of the surname Jetté to Stay. Although not exhaustive, the latest update of the various family branches of Leonardo indicates that they would represent 341 people.

For seven generations now, and despite their distance, it is striking to note the liveliness of the attachment that many of them still show towards Rosalie, as well as the sincerity of their belonging to her great family.

Rosalie's family tree

The research used to write the Positio allowed us to establish the ascending and descending genealogies of Rosalie Cadron and Jean-Marie Jetté. The CRCJ, by virtue of its mandate, and thanks to the dedicated work of its collaborators, now has significant documentation on the deployment of the various family branches of the couple’s children.

Some of this information can now be found in digitized form in a public family tree at under the name “Rosalie Cadron-Jetté (Stay)”. To access it, you must be a subscriber to Ancestry. This tool currently includes 2282 people divided into 821 families whose histories span eleven generations. Its management and updating are therefore fully in keeping with the role of the CRCJ to ensure the dissemination and perpetuation of the Rosalian work. In this spirit, we invite all those who know or think they are descendants of the Founder to contact the CRCJ at the Mother House. They will be very warmly welcomed.


Descendants interested in keeping in touch with their family members are also invited to join the Facebook group created for this purpose. This is a private group for which a membership application must first be submitted by email to the administrator responsible for the JRCC. There are currently 84 members.

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