Foundation of the Congregation
The foundation stage started in 1926, with the admission of the first sick priest. At that time, the Franciscan Nuns of ”Lons le Saunier”, who were assisting Abouna Yaacoub in the beginning, were showing much enthusiasm for serving the priests. But it appeared to him that his new project “the Convent of the Cross” “required more working hands and loving hearts”. Therefore, he worked on establishing an order that he called the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross in order to continue the mission.
At first, Father Jacob was admitting tertiary girls among whom some wishing to make the veil. One of the first who joined the Congregation was Mary Elias Zougheib, from Zouk-Mikael and he changed her name into Mary of the Cross Zougheib; who later became the first Superior General and co-Founder. She continued Abouna Yaacoub’s projects and finished them after he died in 1954, while she remained in charge of the spiritual and material affairs of the Congregation till 1972.
December 8, 1930 is the date of the foundation of the new Congregation. On February 1932, the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross Congregation became independent and self-administered.