Sacred Heart Canossian College was founded in 1860 by the Canossian Daughters of Charity. It was the first Roman Catholic secondary school founded by the Canossian Missions in Hong Kong and Macau.
The Canossian Daughters of Charity is a Roman Catholic religious order founded by Marchioness Magdalene, now St Magdalene of Canossa, from the House of Canossa in Tuscany, Italy.
Soon after the first Canossian Sisters arrived from Italy in 1860, they established a school for girls. This Italian Convent School, with 40 students being taught Chinese, English and Portuguese, was the beginning of the present Sacred Heart Canossian College. The first headmistress of the school was Sister Emily Bowring (1860 - 1870), daughter of the fourth Governor of Hong Kong, Sir John Bowring.
From "Italian Convent School", it later changed its name to Sacred Heart School, after the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1960, the school was officially registered as Sacred Heart Canossian College.