Jean-Martin Moye (b. at Cutting, Lorraine, 27 January 1730; d. at Trier, 4 May 1793) was a French Roman Catholic priest, a missionary in China and the founder of the Sisters of Divine Providence. He was beatified in 1954.


He was the sixth of the thirteen children of Jacques Moye and Catharine Demange. His older brother, a seminarian, taught him the first rudiments of Latin, and he completed his classical studies at the College of Pont-à-Mousson. He then studied philosophy at the Jesuit College of Strasbourg, and entered the theological Seminary of St-Simon, Metz, in the fall of 1751.

Ordained a priest 9 March, 1754, he was appointed a vicar in Metz the same month. A popular priest, he would to establish schools for country children. He began this work in 1763; in 1767, despite opposition, the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence was founded. That same year he was appointed superior of the little seminary of St. Dié.

Leaving the care of his sisterhood to two friends, Father Moye became a missionary. In 1769 he joined the Séminaire des Missions Etrangères at Paris, and in 1773 he was in eastern Sichuan, China. Nine years of mission work, frequently interrupted by persecution and imprisonment, made him realize the necessity of Chinese help. In 1782 he founded the "Christian Virgins", religious women following the rules of the Congregation of Providence at home, devoting themselves to the care of the sick and to the Christian instruction Chinese women and children in their own homes.

Exhausted and ill, Father Moye returned to France in 1784. He resumed the direction of the Sisters of Divine Providence and evangelized Lorraine and Alsace by preaching missions. The French Revolution of 1791 drove him into exile, and with his Sisters he retired to Trier. After the capture of the city by the French troops, typhoid fever broke out and, helped by his Sisters, he devoted himself to hospital work. He contracted the disease and died, in 1793. The spot where he was buried is now a public square.


  • MARCHAL, Vie de M. l'Abbé Moye (Paris, 1872);
  • WEILAND, Une Ame d'Apôtre, le Vénérable Jean Martin Moye (Metz, 1901);
  • PUY-PENY, Le Directoire des Soeurs de La Providence (Portieux);
  • ROHRBACHER, Histoire de l'Eglise (Paris, 1842-48, 9th ed., 1901);
  • Lettres édifiantes (Paris).

External links

This article incorporates text from the entry Ven. John Martin Moye in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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