The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

Franciscan in its essence.
Missionary in its services
Mary - like in its approach.

» Dedicated to universal mission

» Seek strength from the Eucharist

» And offer ourselves in challenging services

Seven Martyrs of China

The seven young sisters, 25 – 34 years of age from France, Italy, Belgium and Netherland, left the Port of Marseilles for China on 12th March 1899 and arrived in Taiyuan-Fou in the region of Shanxi on 4th May. They endured the sacrifices necessary to adapt to a new climate, culture and people. After having loved deeply all those who had become their new family and their own people, they loved them "unto the end." ( John 13:1).

On 27th June, the political situation became extremely tense. The Bishops, fearing for the religious sisters asked them to put on Chinese clothes and try to save themselves. Mother Marie Hermine, the Superior responded in the name of all.

"For the love of God, do not prevent us from dying with you. If our courage is weak… believe me that God who sends the test will give us strength to meet it bravely. We fear neither death nor torments… We came here to exercise charity and to shed our blood for the love of Jesus Christ if need be” 

They were massacred on 9th July 1900.

I can now say with St. Francis:" Now, I have seven true Franciscan Missionaries of Mary “said Mary of the Passion, the day she learnt of the news on 22nd September 1900. On 1st October 2000, they were canonised with numerous other martyrs by Pope John Paul II.

The Church celebrates the liturgical feast of Marie Hermine and her companions on 8th July, the eve of their martyrdom.