What is the Propagation of the Faith?

Our story begins in France in the early 19th century. Pauline Jaricot, inspired by letters about the missions from her brother, Phileas, started gathering together small groups in her family's silk factory. She asked each member of the group to offer daily prayer and a weekly sacrifice of one penny for the Church's worldwide missionary work. Pauline insisted that their efforts be directed to all the Church's missions- that it be universal.

From Pauline's vision came the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The very first collection of the Propagation of the Faith in 1822 supported the vast diocese of Louisiana, which then extended from the Florida Keys to Canada, as well as the missions of Kentucky and China.

The Propagation of the Faith continues to seek prayer and sacrifice for the world's missions, now comprised of some 1,100 dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and remote regions of the Americas. Help is offered for pastoral and evangelizing programs, for catechists and catechetical work, to build churches and chapels, for the work of religious communities in health care and education, and for communication and transportation needs.

Pauline Jaricot was declared venerable by Pope St. John XXIII on February 25, 1963.