In 1806, the Sisters of Notre Dame established a house at Saint-Nicolas (Flandre) and wore, for the first time, the religious habit which was blessed by the Bishop of Ghent, Mgr Fallot de Beaumont. After the Council of 1968, the sisters kept the veil but replaced the heavy robe with one much lighter in weight. Today, it is not the habit but the cross, designed and created by the Belgian sculptor, J. Williame, in 1966 that distinguishes a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur.
To speak of the goodness of God on the very cross which is an instrument of suffering is to bring out once again the parallel with Julie’s life; for she suffered, and yet she spoke only of God’s goodness. The humility of the foundress, too, prompts the thought that the Notre Dame cross is a sign, like the divine sign within her, of which the sister must be the living expression.
On the reverse of the cross, we can read in French: “How good is the good God!”