Saint-Lazare had a long history pre-dating the Congregation of the Mission. After its confiscation by the Revolutionary government in 1792 the buildings of Saint Lazare became a prison for enemies of the revolution. In 1811, it became a prison exclusively for women. Until 1936 the main complex of Saint Lazare became the notorious “St. Lago” prison, housing mostly women convicted of prostitution. Despite efforts to close the prison, it endured until 1932.