Know Our History


Villa Maria Language Institute is a private, Catholic school, owned by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. The Sisters began language instruction when they first arrived in South Texas from Lyons, France in 1853. At the time of their arrival, there was no school in Brownsville. The Sisters' educational ministry has evolved through several phases - at Incarnate Word Academy on Elizabeth Street; later, Incarnate Word Academy moved to St. Charles Street. Finally, the Sisters moved to the current location between Jefferson and Resaca Boulevard. In each of these stages of development, the Sisters have been recognized in Brownsville, Matamoros, the State of Texas and the interior of Mexico for their quality and methods of teaching languages.



Jeanne Chézard de Matel was the French religious who founded the Order of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, the rule and constitutions of the order being approved in 1633. The principal objective of the order was youth education.




  • Jeanne Chézard de Matel