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    The Religious Institute, Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate constitutes the Missionary Branch of the Society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales. This Society was founded by Fr. Henri Chaumont, a priest of the diocese of Paris and Mme Carre de Malberg on 15th October 1872. The members of the Society were women of all walks of life, single or married or widows. Rome granted the Society the final approbation on 26th April 1911.

History     Since the beginning of the Society, the Founder awakened in the members, a missionary enthusiasm which gradually evolved into a ‘Guild of fervent prayer’ for the conversion of non-Christian women. This was known as the ‘Association of Mary Immaculate’. The Founder had contact with many bishops in mission countries who narrated to him the difficulties of missionaries to evangelize the womenfolk. The need of women auxiliaries in the missions was keenly felt by them. Some of the bishops who visited Paris spoke at the meeting of the Association of Mary Immaculate. Moved by it, the Founder and the young Society decided to send some of its members to the mission field to help the priests. Several members who were free from family obligations resolved to dedicate their lives entirely to the service of the missionary activity of the Church. These members were given a specific missionary formation in addition to their formation as Daughters of St Francis de Sales. Four of them Mother Marie Gertrude, Mother Marie de Kostka, Sr. Madaleine and Sr. Joseph were chosen to be the first missionaries. At the request of the Bishop of Nagpur, they left for India on 12th October 1889.

    They reached Nagpur on 2nd November 1889. They worked for the conversion of non- Christians, especially non-Christian women. As there was not much fruit in their evangelization in the beginning of two years of their stay in India, Fr. Henri Chaumont asked them to come back to France. But they prayed to Eucharistic Lord and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and resolved to stay back in India. Prayer was their source of strength. Eucharistic Lord was the center of their life. They offered all their hardships and bore all sufferings for the success of their ministry. With their perseverance and tireless efforts, they succeeded in their apostolate. Thus, in the course of time several houses sprang up in North and South of India.

    According to the Founder’s desire, Mother Marie Gertrude had accepted a few Indian candidates for religious life while she was alive. Later on the Catechist Missionaries started to train Indian sisters in the diocese of Nagpur, Kumbakonam, Bangalore and Salem at the request of the Bishops.  As a result they were formed with the same Spirituality.

    The name ‘Catechist Missionaries of Mary Immaculate’ was changed into ‘Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate’ during the General Chapter in 1954. The missionary branch of the daughters of St Francis de Sales became autonomous in 1968. It then became an Institute of Pontifical Right on 26th April 1968 which remains as a part of the Society of Daughters of St. Francis de Sales.

    Today the SMMI are spread in five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa,  North & South America and Oceania having the head quarters at Gentilly, France. There are eight provinces and six Regions with 176 communities which makes a total of 1407 sisters.

Address of our Generalate:

Mission Generale

17, Impasse Villa Remond

94250 Gentilly