The Society for the Propagation of the Faith was founded upon the insight and initiative of a young French laywomen, Pauline Marie Jaricot.  Pauline was committed to the formation of a missionary conscientiousness’ in the Christians in order to aid the Church in its task of preaching the Gospel and establishing it in areas of the world where it had not been before.  She saw the renewal of the Church in France following the Revolution was linked with a renewed zeal for the missions.

Pauline Jaricot was born into a wealthy family in Lyon, France in 1799.  She could have lived a life of privilege but instead committed herself to raising funds and awareness for the world missions.  As a teenager she appealed to girls who were working in her brother-in-law’s factory to make a contribution of one penny a week in order to support abandoned children in China.  Soon others joined to help support the missions.  In 1822 The Society for the Propagation of the Faith began.

In its first year Pauline also began printing and circulating information about the work of missionaries.  The Annals increased interest in the work of the society.


The Society for the Propagation of the Faith grew to become the universal fundraising organization for all Catholic missions. Pauline Jaricot’s life was one driven by concern for the missions and the poor.  She died in 1862.

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