At the origin of La Retraite is the inspiration of Catherine de Francheville and her confidence in God’s saving love.
Born in 1620 in Truscat, Brittany, Catherine grew up the youngest in a family of six children. Following a severe illness in her 20’s, Catherine’s faith deepened. Gradually she became more and more interested in finding ways of giving herself to the service of God. She resisted expectations on her to marry until the death of her parents. Then, at 35, she agreed to marry and went to Rennes to greet her suitor, only to find his funeral cortège coming out to meet her! Out of this shocking moment came Catherine’s decision to remain single and find a way of committing everything to God’s service.