This Society was founded in France at Lyons in 1822 by a young lady called Pauline Marie Jaricot,
after hearing an appeal from her brother who was about to become a missionary priest telling her of the poverty and struggle the missionaries were going through.
So she started the “Circles of ten”: people would commit themselves to sacrifice a penny every week. Each of these friends would find ten others who would do the same, and on. The very first ones she formed were young ladies most of whom were working in a local silk factory and started a spiritual association whose main aim was to make reparation to the Heart of Jesus. The following year 1819, this group became a Missionary Association, with the specific purpose of helping the Missions in China both by prayer and sacrifice.
The Society began to gain popularity and spread rapidly in France, so much so that the Society also spread to different dioceses of France, then to other European countries and later to America and all over the whole world.
After a century on May 3, 1922, the Society becomes Pontifical to indicate it’s status as official instrument of the Holy Father and the Universal Roman Catholic Church therefore it is an instrument of evangelization and Christian solidarity for the whole Church under the direct authority of the Pope, principle sign of the unity and universality of the Church.
Today the Society continue this service:
Promoting missionary awareness among adult lay Christians
Establishing a programme for regular aid to all mission territories and help all choices in their work of evangelization.
Establishing a fund of solidarity