Born: November 5, 1749
Died: April 26, 1818
Marie Adélaïde de Cicé was born in Rennes on November 5, 1749, into a large aristocratic family, the Champion de Cice. The Chateau de Cice was in the parish of Bruz on the banks of the Vilaine. Marie Adélaïde was baptized in the Church of St. Aubin on the day she was born. Sadly, her father died the following year.
She was influenced at an incredibly young age by her mother's devout Christian life. As a result the young Marie Adélaïde developed a zeal for serving the poor, and a desire to enter religious life. She had a special concern for the poor children begging on behalf of their families to whom she generously distributed alms, including articles of clothing to keep them warm. Marie Adelaide kept this desire to help the desolate throughout her life. In August 1776, she wrote: "I have taken the decision to restrict all unnecessary costs and limit myself in this to what is really necessary in my position. I will look on my possessions like they belong to the poor much more than to me.”
In August 1787, she first met Father de Clorivière and shared with him her project of religious life. Her aspiration was for a community of women religious dedicated wholly to God and serving the poor and marginalized. It would be a new form of religious life, to be lived in the midst of the world, quietly and unnoticed, without habit or cloister, taking as the model the first Christian communities, a different environment imbued with the gospel values. Both Adélaïde with her long-matured intuition, and Father de Clorivière with his sudden inspiration, arrived at a conception of religious life within the midst of the world.
This holy woman of God was also swept up in the religious persecution that was a by-product of the fervor of the French revolution. However, she spent her time in prison ministering to, and uplifting, the other female prisoners – regardless of their charges.
Like Father de Clorivière, Marie Adélaïde left this mortal world and went to meet her Lord sitting before the Blessed Sacrament, on the morning of April 26, 1818.