"Even if Father Proust was not born in Brittany, we can count him among the pious people who, with their virtues, have given it prestige"[1].

Pierre Le Proust was born in Châtellerault on December 3rd, 1624. His parents, Loys Le Proust and Marye Magaud, came from the important Poitou family. Six of their nine children devoted themselves to consecrated life: Pierre will be an Augustinian, three of his brothers will be Capuchins, and two of his sisters will join the Congregation of Notre Dame in Chatellerault. The other three sons got married.

In 1627, the family settled in Poitiers where Loys Le Proust became an attorney in the Presidency. There is a lack of details on the youth of Father Ange. His nephew, Father Nivard, who was an Augustinian too, says that he was a "clever and intelligent schoolboy with a good memory", and that the teachers proposed him as a model of attention, accuracy and an example of piety, which could lead his classmates towards the good. Even his parents were "precious examples of virtue" for their children: they had a deep faith, love for the Eucharist, compassion for the poor and the marginalized ones.

When he was 15, he knocked on the Augustinian gate. The Prior asked him to wait a few months and to continue his piety and charity exercises. In 1640, he was admitted as a postulant and in 1641, he began his novitiate and changed his name into Ange. During his novitiate, he read the life of a confrere of the order of St. Augustine, Tommaso da Villanova, a religious from Spain who became, despite not wishing to, Archbishop of Valencia (Spain), whose canonization was in progress. He admired the ardent and active charity of this prelate to the poor of his diocese and, even more, his great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He chose it as his model and protector.

He graduated on March 25, 1642, continued his studies and was ordained in 1649. At the age of 28 he arrived for the first time in Lamballe (Côtes d'Armor) in September 1652, to work as a professor of philosophy and then as a visitor. There he discovered the small Hotel Dieu, a hospital where the patients were in such a discomforting state that he got shocked. But in 1655, he had to return to Poitiers to teach Theology.

In 1658, Thomas de Villeneuve was canonized and great celebrations were organized in all the friaries of the Order. The following year, Father Ange, who was 35, was named Prior of the Lamballe Convent. He then began organizing celebrations in honor of St. Thomas of Villeneuve. During an Eucharistic adoration he received an "enlightenment" regarding what he had to do to remedy the condition of the poor of the Hotel Dieu: "Hearts of women are needed. They have to be completely donated to God, to live with the poor of the Hotel Dieu, to take care of them and to surround them with friendship, making them discover the Love with which God loves them."

After he asked for the advice of the Bishop, Mons. Denis de la Barde, he negotiated with the local authorities and celebrated Mass for this purpose every day for a year. The company was created with the stipulation of a contract on 16 February 1661 in front of Maître Le Provost, notary of Penthievre. The first women of this company officially arrive at the Hôtel-Dieu de Lamballe on March 2nd of the same year.

In 1665, Father Ange came back to Paris as a professor of Theology in the convent of "Les Petits Augustins". Until his departure, he continued to train his daughters who benefited from his advices and experience. Subsequently, he had to share his activity with the Order of St. Augustine and with his Society.

In 1671, Father Angelo became provincial of Bourges and later responsible in 1674 by the same province and, finally, first responsible in Paris in 1679. At the same time, however, important administrative work was still necessary: he had ​​to obtain the recognition of its foundation. He got it at the legal level in 1671, when the king sent him his letters of consent. He obtained the religious recognition with the erection of society in the Congregation of the Third Order of St. Augustine in 1683.

In 1693, Father Ange returned permanently to Paris, where he used to live in the convent of the Petits-Augustins (current School of Fine Arts, in Via Bonaparte). That same year, Father Ange wrote a letter to the nuns of the Brest houses, which is a true summary of the ideal he proposed to "his dear daughters."

Thus, he tried to bring his congregation to the Paris region. He founded four communities in Paris in the last years of his life, one of which took care of a hospice in Vaugirard where in 1694 he built a chapel. In 1697, he had already established 33 communities in Brittany, Poitou and Île-de-France. Anyway, his health was weakening more and more. In the same year, he declared about his life: "I tried to do, with the grace of God, all that was possible for the relief of the members of Jesus Christ and for the growth of the Society". He died on October 16, 1697.

The next day they buried him in the cloister of the Petits-Augustins convent. This monastery was destroyed in October 1834, when the Congregation managed to barely recover what was necessary. His tomb is currently in the chapel of the main house in Neuilly-sur-Seine (AAVV, 2018).


AAVV. (2018, 08 01). Notre fondateur. Tratto da congregation-stv: https://www.congregation-stv.org/notre-fondateur/biographie/



[1] From " La Vie des Saints de Bretagne et des personnes d’une éminente piété qui ont vécu dans cette province" (Life of the saints of Brittany and people of eminent piety who have lived in this province); Dom Guy-Alexis Lobineau, revised and expanded edition by Father Resvaux, 1838.