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Our History

"Look to the past with gratitude,
live the present with passion, 
and embrace the future with hope."

Pope Francis

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Bishop Pierre Lambert de la Motte, founder of the Lovers of the Holy Cross, was born on January 28, 1624 in the city of Lisieux, France. His parents were Mr. Pierre Lambert de la Motte and Mrs. Catherine Heudey de Pommainville et de Bocquencey. On February 15, 1624, Bishop Lambert was baptized at Saint Jaques Church, right across the street from his home. He was the eldest son of a family of seven brothers and sisters.

Bishop Lambert's childhood home

Bishop Lambert's childhood home

Saint Jaques Church

Saint Jaques Church


After graduating from high school, Lambert studied law and became a lawyer, in accordance with the judicial tradition of a noble family. While performing his career as a judge, Lambert actively participated in the moral, social and other ministries of the church in Normandy. After becoming a close friend of St. Jean Eudes, Lambert quit his career as a judge and went to the seminary


Courthouse in Rouen

Courthouse in Rouen



To prepare for ordination, Lambert made a pilgrimage of "humiliation" from Caen to Rennes. On December 27, 1655, at the age of 31, Pierre Lambert de la Motte was ordained a priest on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, at the Cathedral of Bayeux.

In 1656, Father Lambert accepted the invitation of the Eucharist Association to be the director of the Social Service Center in Rouen. The main purpose of this center was to raise and educate orphans, assist the elderly and women who have gone astray. 

Cathedral of Bayeux
Social Service Center

Cathedral of Bayeux

Social ​Service Center 



On September 9, 1659, the Holy See decreed the “Super Cathedram” which appointed Father Pierre de la Motte as Apostolic Vicar of South Vietnam. On November 6, 1660, Father Pierre Lambert de la Motte was ordained a bishop in the Visitation Order’s chapel, Sainte Marie, in Paris. 

​Sainte Marie Chapel



​On September 9, 1659, the Vatican appointed Bishop Pallu and Bishop Lambert as representatives of the Holy See to oversee the evangelization of the Far East. Bishop Lambert would be responsible for the Southern Diocese of Vietnam, Champa, Cambodia, four western provinces in South China and Hai Nam island. After two years, two months, and six days, he arrived at Juthia, the capital of Thailand, on August 22, 1662.

Map of Bishop Lambert's Journey to the Far-East



From 1662 - 1676, Bishop Lambert met countless difficulties, but he was still able to accomplish many evangelical works: •Apostolic visitations in the Southern and Northern Dioceses of Vietnam. •The ordination of local priests. •In 1664, the convening of the Council of Juthia. •In 1665, the formation of the Mission Association. •Wrote instructions to the missionaries to use in their Apostolates. •Established St. Joseph Seminary for the Far-East. •Formed the Association of the Lovers of the Holy Cross. •In 1670, summoned the Council of Phố Hiến. •In 1670 - 1671, established the Congregations of the Lovers of the Holy Cross in the North and South of . •In 1672, gathered the Council of Hội An. •In 1672, formed the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Thailand. •In 1674, ordained Bishop Laneau as Representative of the Holy See to replace Bishop Cotolendi.


At the age of nine (1633), Lambert was inspired by God to gather those who loved the Holy Cross of Jesus. His wish was that they should be formed into a congregation under the title "Lovers of the Holy Cross." At age 10, Bishop Lambert de la Motte studied at Collège du Mont in Caen, a Jesuit boarding school. During his high school years with the Jesuits in Caen, he also was guided by Father Hallé of the Order of The Little Brothers. 

College Du Mont in Caen

Collège Du Mont in Caen 

St. Joseph's Church in Ayutthaya, Thailand

St. ​Joseph Church in Ayutthaya, Thailand



At four o’clock in the morning, on June 15, 1679, Bishop Pierre Lambert de la Motte entered Eternal Life at Ayutthaya, Thailand. He suffered much from intestinal disease and kidney stones leading him to spend his last days in silent prayer and intimate union with the Crucified Christ. During his sickness, he never ceased to trust in the Lord and prayed, “Increase my suffering, increase my endurance.” (“Auge dolorem, auge patientiam”)

Although the actual tomb of Bishop Lambert has not been found, a memorial tomb at St. Joseph Church in Thailand nonetheless has been erected in his remembrance. 

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"God often attached the repentance of many souls to the sacrifice, prayer, and extraordinary charity of missionaries."
Bishop Pierre Lambert de la Motte


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