LITHUANIA. See RUSSIA.
LITTLE, CHARLES EUGENE: Methodist Episcopalian; b. at Waterbury, Vt., Apr. 7, 1838. He was graduated in 1860 from the theological department of Boston University (then at Concord, N. H.), was ordained deacon (1862) and elder (1864), and has held pastorates at Dannemora, N. Y. (1860-61), Clintonville, N. Y. (1862-63), Fair Haven, Vt. (1865-67), Newmarket, N. J. (1867), Eighth Avenue Church, Newark, N. J. (1868-70), Hackettstown, N. J. (1871, 1875-77), Nyack, N. Y. (1873-74),
LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR, THE: A religious order of women which had its origin in Saint Servan, near the coast town of St. Malo in Brittany. In 1840 the village priest, M. le Pailleur, first interested Jeanne Jugan, a humble servant girl, and a few other pious women in the case of some of the aged poor people of the locality, and in 1842 a house was bought to serve as a refuge for the same. The work, though undertaken without any definite or far-reaching plan, and utterly with out resources, save the alms contributed by a far from opulent surrounding population, developed with an unlooked-for rapidity. The spirit of poverty and the unselfish devotedness which characterized the founders of the work soon made them very popular, and in the course of a few years they were organized on the lines of a religious congregation which in twenty years spread to most of the cities of France, and even to Belgium and England. The object of the organization is the establishment and maintenance of permanent homes for the destitute aged and infirm of both sexes without distinction of creed or nationality. To be admitted to these homes the applicants must be "respectable," i.e., of good moral character, and, as a rule, they must be over sixty years of age. They are supported and cared for personally by the sisters who depend entirely on charity for their maintenance. The rule of the community, which is based on that of St. Augustine, received the solemn approbation of the Holy See July 9, 1854. The order was legally recognized by the French government in 1856, and it finds place among the few congregations which survived the legislation enacted against the religious communities in France in 1905 and 1906.
The order was introduced into the United States in 1868 when their first home was opened in Brooklyn, and in 1907 the American membership numbered 800 sisters with two provincial headquarters, one in Brooklyn and the other in Chicago. They conduct fifty homes for the aged in the various cities of the Union, chiefly in those of the East and Middle West, the total number of inmates being over 9,000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. P. Migne, Encyclopédia théolgique, vol. xxiii.; Dictionnaire des ordres religieux, vol. iv (under "Petites Soeurs des Pauvres"), Paris, 1859; L. Aubineau, Lebensbeschreibungen. Die kleinen Schwestern der Armen, Regensburg, 1871; Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie, ib. 1874; G. Ratzinger, Geschichte der kirchlichen Armenpflege, pp. 518 sqq., Freiburg, 1884; Official Catholic Directory for the United States, Milwaukee, 1909; Baunard, E. Lelièvre et les fondations des Petites Sæurs des pauvres, Paris, 1904; Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen, ii. 388-389.
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