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.

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India is a country of festivals. The people of India are so lively that they find a reason or the other for celebrations. One of such reasons is the sweet and sour relationship between a brother and a sister. 'Raksha Bandhan' or 'Rakhi' is a special occasion to celebrate the bond by tying a holy thread around the wrist. This thread, which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments, is rightly called the ‘Rakhi’. It means 'a bond of protection', and Raksha Bandhan signifies that the strong must protect the weak from all that’s evil. Raksha Bandhan is known by various names: Vish Tarak - the destroyer of venom, Punya Pradayak - the bestower of boons, and Pap Nashak - the destroyer of sins. Raksha Bandhan is called Avani Avittam in South India.
Tagore introduced this tradition in Santiniketan to reestablish the bond of love between all sects and religions. Today children and women all around the country filling the soldiers with the zest to protect them against the dangers of the enemy tie Rakhi on the wrists of soldiers.
The passing of time and the concept of globalization have influenced the festivals and the ways of celebrating it. Today tying of Rakhi is not confined to the siblings alone. The concept has been widened and Rakhi is tied to anybody whom a girl wants to be a sister of. Nowadays, Raksha Bandhan day is also a day for some of the girls to visit the orphanages or prisons to tie Rakhi to the inmates of the orphanage and jails. This is a total humanitarian approach. This kind act gives the fated Rakhi brothers a feeling of hope that there are people who love and care for them too. Thus Rakhi implies the basic element of an amicable and harmonious social life where all members of the society look upon themselves as brothers and sisters and as children of one common motherland.
God our Father and Mother,
Thank you for giving us brothers – to love and cherish, remember and be grateful.
    Bless all our brothers who are born with us;
     who have become brothers through their protective deeds;
   who through their sensitivity have become our brothers; and those who have no blood sisters to fete them on this auspicious day.
May your protecting hand be upon them in a special way today.
May the love, care and concern that they share with us return to them a hundredfold.


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