What we live today at MALESTROIT is a heritage from the past. Here is the broad outline of this tradition.
In the preamble of Constitutions of 1666, we read about our origin. «The Congregation of Jesus' Mercy, having like a fruitful olive tree in the House of God, took its root and its origin in the Monastery of Dieppe. It would seems to be appropriate here to mention its antiquity».
It's probably in the XIIIth century that the Order was born at Dieppe. An historian from Dieppe places its foundation in 800, but there is no certainty about it. On the other hand, it's proved that it existed "long before 1285".
One should not be surprised at the lack of precision regarding our origin; the same is true for most of the hospitals founded in the Middle-Ages.
At that time, charitable works were mainly the responsibility of the Church which provided them according to need, permitting us to say « We were born from the needs of the ».
The Hospital was a sanctuary open to all in distress: old men, disabled persons, abandoned children. Pilgrims and travelers had the right to enter, just like the poors and the sick.