The Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales was founded in Annecy by Fr. Peter
Mary Mermier. It was canonically established by Bishop Peter Joseph Rey on 24th October, 1838.
It is a clerical institute of pontifical right, with simple vows. In it Priests and Brothers
have the same rights and obligations, except for what is specific to Holy Orders.
Fr. Mermier nourished in his heart a longing for the Religious Life for many years, until he brought it to fulfillment. He wanted a community
seeking perfect charity. For this, it was to place itself under the guidance of St. Francis de Sales, a master of the spiritual
life filled with apostolic zeal.
It is Christ who leads us to perfect charity. He makes us holy by His Spirit in the Church and through the Church
within the Congregation.
He invites us to live faithfully all the demands of the evangelical counsels, of community life,
and of our commitment to the apostolate.
We join the Congregation of the Missionaries to answer a personal call from God. This we live in a community
which helps us to be faithful.
Each one Strives to develop a close friendship with Christ, our Lord. We are to have the conviction
that our union with God grows through prayer and is brought about, in a way that is specially intense, in the gift of oneself
to one’s confreres and one’s neighbour.
The love of God grows to its fullness in us thourgh our conformity to His divine will. God’s will is made
known to us through the word of God, the teaching of the Church, our Constitutions and our Directory, the decisions of the
Superiors, the events and the circumstances of life.
We dedicate ourselves completely to doing the unique and simple will of God. This fosters in us simplicity of
heart which St. Francis de Sales calls the perfection of all perfections. Such simplicity manifests a vigorous charity. It
has no other aim than that of pleasing God, with no mixture of self-interest, in all our desires and in all our actions. In
this way, we give ourselves more completely to our neighbour.
We make the Gospel the supreme rule of our life. We do this in order to be inflamed with zeal for the kingdom of God. Therefore, our aim is to missionaries – missionaries with a salesian
From its earliest years, the Congregation has been committed to three main types of apostolate: missions for
renewal of Christian life, missions abroad, and the education of young people.
It is necessary to respect these basic orientations. Faithful to the missionary spirit and the apostolic boldness
of Fr. Mermier, we are to adapt these pastoral options to changing situations in the Church.