It was in 1848 when the first four Sisters of St Paul of Chartres arrived in Hong Kong from France in response to the request of Bishop Augustine Forcade, Prefect Apostolic of Hong Kong.

Wanchai. Despite the many difficulties and privations they experienced, soon after their arrival the Sisters immediately took in their first unwanted and abandoned baby - the first of thousands of poor children they would save from a life of neglect, poverty and misery, even death, for more than a hundred and fifty years.

Causeway Bay. In time, they gradually expanded their charitable services to include the education of children outside the orphanage, the care of the aged and infirm, the physically handicapped, and the sick. When Wanchai could no longer provide sufficient accommodation, they moved some orphans and sick children to Happy Valley in 1907. Finally, in 1915 the Asile in Wanchai was abandoned and transferred to Causeway Bay, which is at present the centre of their apostolic works.
On 12 September 1848 the British ship Sappho sailed into Victoria Harbour carrying four young French Sisters, led by Sister Alphonsine Forcade, after a perilous journey of four months. The Sisters came in response to the ardent plea of Bishop Augustine Forcade MEP, brother of Sr Alphonsine, who was just appointed Prefect Apostolic of Hong Kong. Like a seed that would one day grow into a big tree, Sr Alphonsine and another Sister, still both in their 30s, would give their lives for this far-off mission within two years of their arrival.

Unfortunately, most of the children rescued were in such hopeless condition that they could not be saved. Those who survived were washed and cleaned, clothed and fed, and cared for.
Later, the Sisters taught them reading, writing and catechism, as well as sewing and embroidery in order to prepare them for a better future. When of proper age, marriage was arranged for them with a suitable Catholic partner. During the 20th century, adoptive parents, mostly abroad, were found for many children.
In 1859, Sister Benjamin arrived to replace the already exhausted Superior, Sr Louise Morse. Appointed as the first Mother Provincial in Asia, this courageous and indefatigable worker would be God's instrument in the expansion of the Congregation to Vietnam in 1860, and from there to other Asian countries, and lately to Australia.
In addition to the education of the orphans, a school was started by the Sisters in 1876, forerunner of the present St Paul's Convent School. Gradually the Sisters also began taking in physically handicapped adults as well as the old and infirm.

The plague of 1894 brought sick old women knocking at the Sisters' door. With no heart to refuse them, they took them in. Little by little a hospice for the handicapped and old women began to take shape. In 1898 a hospital was opened, which today, although named St Paul's Hospital, is still popularly called French Hospital by the local people.
With the opening of the Novitiate in 1899, all the dreams of Mons. Forcade would finally be realized : he wanted Sisters to run a hospital, a school, an orphanage and to open a novitiate.

In time, the Asile in Wanchai reached its maximum capacity. By the end of the 20th century, it comprised of a convent and novitiate, a hostel, the orphanage with its nursery, bedrooms, classrooms, work-rooms and infirmary, a boarding school, a hospice for the physically handicapped and the old, and a hospital.

A big milestone in the history of the Congregation was the transfer of the Sisters from Wanchai to an old factory site in Causeway Bay in 1915. Today, it serves as the nerve centre of the Sister's charitable works in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia.

Overcrowding in Wanchai led the Sisters to transfer some orphans, handicapped and part of the hospital to Happy Valley in 1908, Later on a Chinese school would be opened in 1928.

Within the compound the Sisters continue to teach the ignorant and care for the sick, just as the first group of young and generous volunteers, under the guidance of Pere Chauvet, did 300 years ago in Levesville, France.