Saint Jeanne Jugan, also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, was born during the French Revolution. When her father died, her mother struggled to support the family and secretly taught them the Catholic catechism. Declining a marriage proposal, Jeanne became an Associate of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary founded by John Eudes when she was 25. She then focused her attention upon the mission of assisting abandoned elderly women, and from this beginning arose a religious congregation called The Little Sisters of the Poor. By 1850, over 100 women had joined the congregation. She died in obscurity, but was eventually credited as the founder of the order.