With the French Revolution, religious life was disbanded and its gradual restoration became a struggle. In 1836 Fr. Moreau introduced the taking of perpetual vows to the Brothers of St. Joseph with some opposition and loss of some brothers. Now in 1840, he proposed the same for the priests but they found it difficult to give up their independence. So, as you see above, Fr. Moreau was the first to pronounce perpetual vows.
M. Mollevaut, his spiritual director wrote to him as follows: "I am happy that you are making vows. The older I get, the more convinced I am that the youth of toady cannot acquire stability by any other means."
Bishop Bouvier was present at Sainte-Croix on August 15, 1840, the Feast of the Assumption. After Mass the Bishop received the vows of obedience and poverty from Fr. Moreau. For this occasion Fr. Moreau chose the name "Mary" thus indicating his devotion to the Mother of God and from that time on he signed official documents with "Basil Anthony Mary Moreau". On the same day after Vespers four of his priests also pronounced perpetual vows before the Bishop and Fr. Moreau.
A comment: Regardless of the awareness and structure of vows in the history of the Church, they find their basis in the gospels where we see Christ counseling the Rich Young Man to sell all he had, give it to the poor and to follow Him. Christ also affirmed that anyone who would give up everything including a family would gain much more in this life including persecution and finally eternal life.