The Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith was the first of the four Mission Societies that were eventually approved as Pontifical in the 20th century. It was founded in France in 1822 through the inspired initiative of a young French laywoman, the Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot.
Born in Lyon on July 22, 1799, Pauline M. Jaricot received a good Christian upbringing. Thanks to her brother, Philéas, a student preparing to leave as a missionary to China, she learned about the critical situation the missions were going through. At only 17 years of age, she privately took the vow of chastity and made a resolute decision to do all she could to support the missionaries' activity. In 1817 she organized the first collections for the missions and promoted a great missionary movement based on a spirituality that soon went beyond the French borders and extended throughout the world.
Her life was entirely enlightened by faith and lived in love of God and the commitment to help the neediest at all latitudes. She died in Lyon on January 9, 1892. On February 25, 1963, Pope John XXIII proclaimed Pauline Marie Jaricot “Venerable”.
The Society was born officially on May 3, 1822 in Lyon with the name: Association of the Propagation of the Faith. Exactly a century later, on May 3, 1922, Pius XI gave it the title of “Pontifical”. Its central offices were transferred to Rome to collaborate better with the Congregation for the Evangelization of People in promoting the missionary spirit and activity.
The Society of the Propagation of the Faith has the goal of opening every believer's heart to the vastness of the missionary horizon through spiritual and material support for the proclamation of the Kingdom of God.
Through a constant and vigorous commitment to missionary formation and animation it promotes: