Part I – Family Life

Pierre-Auguste Marie Saintourens was born 13 May 1835 into a deeply 

Catholic family in the city of Marmande, in southwestern France. Amidst

the loving care and encouragement of his parents, sister and two brothers, 

young Pierre received his earliest Christian formation. 

From his Autobiographical Journal we can get a glimpse into the home of the

 Saintourens family.

“I often recall, that being still a child of nine or ten, how I used to construct 

little chapels in honor of the Holy Virgin. My mother had given me a table 

especially for a small altar; my sister had given me furnishings and lace to 

decorate it…

From the age of nine I used to say that I desired to be a priest, and the 

vocation was already so rooted in my small head and in my heart that my 

greatest happiness was to say Holy Mass. My father brought me from 

Bordeaux a small chalice with a paten, an ostensorium

 to give Benediction, and small candelabras to decorate my altar. My oldest 

brother, who was then in the major seminary preparing himself to be 

ordained priest, cut out for me some ornaments from large sheets of strong 


I remember I was about ten…one day I called together my little friends for a 

sermon. I climbed upon a chair in the front room in which I had my little 

chapel in honor of the Holy Virgin…Mounted on my chair, my book in my 

hand, I read and explained…”

“At last, the twenty-first of December, 1845 was the chosen day, the great 

and beautiful day of my First Communion…my confessor had prepared me 

for this great day so that it would coincide with the first Mass of my brother. 

My brother would say his first Mass, and I would receive Our Lord for the 

first time. The first Host which my brother gave was to me. 

My second brother served the Mass. Around the altar were gathered my 

father, my mother, my sister and the other members of my family…”

“I wished to be a priest…my pious mother supported this pious desire…”

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