is the name of a congregation of missionary priests of St. Joseph, organized at Lyons in 1656, by a certain Cretenet, a native of Champlitte, in Burgundy, and a surgeon by profession, who consecrated himself to the service at the hospital in Lyons. The first object of these priests was to act as missionaries in the country, and then to engage in charitable works in the different colleges.
There exists also an organization of females, known as "Sisters of St. Joseph," which was instituted by the bishop of Puy in 1650. These sisters, besides doing charitable works, have to care for the hospitals, govern the houses of refuge, and are charged with the instruction of orphans and little children in the schools, and with visiting the sick. Their vows are very simple, and they can always be relieved from them by the bishop in whose diocese they live. See Holyot, Hist. des Ordres Monast. 8:186 sq.; Lichtenberger, Encyclop. des Sciences Religieuses, s.v. (B.P.)