THE COMPANY OF MARY
To realize his idea of parish missions, as a means of revitalizing the faith in the most marginalized suburbs and countryside areas, Louis-Marie Grignion, while still a young priest, wanted to gather priests around himself for preaching and giving the sacraments, as well as some lay brothers to organise and animate meetings, celebrations, processions and to teach catechism to the poor and to children.
Montfort had called a young man of 18 years old, named Mathurin Rangeard who, without ever taking religious vows, accompanied him for many years in the parish missions and remained faithful to him all his life. Other brothers (Gabriel, Louis, Nicolas and Philippe), joined two priests: (René Mulot and Adrien Vatel) and a number of lay auxiliaries (Jean, Jacques and Mathurin). They formed the first group of the Company of Mary. The brothers - with or without vows - soon split into two groups: the first were more concerned with material aspects of the mission and the animation of the assemblies, like Mathurin, a remarkable singer. The others formed, according to the wishes of Montfort, "the Brothers of the Community of the Holy Spirit, for the running of charitable schools". So, Jacques will try to create in St. Laurent sur Sevre, a school for the children of that locality.
During the 19th century, the development of foreign missions was to bring Fathers and Brothers of the Company of Mary, like so many religious of other communities, to work together for the service of the church in evangelization, and the development of peoples. Today they are actively present in 29 countries spreading the Word of God.
Fathers and Brothers live in complementarily. By their service in pastoral areas, magazines, retreats, pilgrimages, or their professional commitments, they realize the apostolic project of St. Louis-Marie: to remind Christians of the seriousness of their baptismal promises, while working for the coming of God's Kingdom.
All entrust themselves to the Blessed Virgin, Mother and daughter of the church, patron of the Company of Mary, in order to move forward together in the project of a "new evangelization”.
Their Generalate is located in Rome.