In choosing Malestroit, a small medieval town, the Augustinians of Vannes, continued a tradition of a religious presence: From 1633 to 1791, there were Augustinians on the Island of Notre-Dame.
In the XVIIth century, the Sisters of St. Thomas de Villeneuve managed the Hospital. The Daughters of Wisdom replaced them in 1802.
From 1670 to the Revolution, a house, the former residence of the lords of Malestroit, which was bought by the Ursulines and enlarged, became a school. In 1828, Jean-Marie de Lamennais who had just founded the Congregation of the St. Méen Priests, bought the house and established there a novitiate.
Having learnt that the Lamennais brothers wanted to dispose of their house, the Augustinians of Vannes bought it, thanking the Lord for giving them this house, where they hoped to be able to continue practicing their vocations : to serve God in prayer and in the poor.
They arrived in Malestroit on the 25th of October 1866, warmly welcomed by its inhabitants and they placed their new monastery under the protection of The Immaculate Conception.
Here also, the begining was difficult : the house, unoccupied for many years, did not have a fireplace, the roof had holes in it and there were other drawbacks.
Parts of the buildings had previously been used as a school. This is what may have led the Sisters to open a small boarding school, while arranging another place where they could establish an hospital service. On September 6, 1867, 6 pupils were received. Work began on expanding the house and preparing to receive the sick. Once the plans were developped, “we prepared the land ourselves, including destroyingtwo old houses and digging foundations, with the help of some people. In this way, we were able to reduce expenses and store old materials.» (Annual)
Little by little life became organized in the new monastery; along with young boarders, came eleven old women, including one who was blind. « It seems to us that we almost changed our vocations. Imagine how our nursing heartsmust suffer to no longer have those dear sick persons, whose service was our entire life » (Ibid)
The war of 1870 brought many injured, causing the sisters to remember what they had already lived in the past.