Becoming a missionary

“Those who launched the Missionary Works, beginning with Pauline Jaricot, did not have to invent prayers and actions to express their longing to proclaim the Gospel, they simply had to draw out from an inexhaustible treasure the most familiar and customary expressions of Christian witness which the People of God had used throughout their
whole journey in history”.

(Message of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Pontifical Missionary Works in May 2020).

Pauline Jaricot created the first social missionary network.

Following her lead, become a missionary through prayer, a shared mission and proclamation of the Gospel !

Join up again in the network of the Pontifical Missionary Works in order to grow stronger in your missionary witness :

  • Rediscover the life and service of the greatest missionary saints, who are a source of inspiration in living out an expansive faith…
  • Become more aware of how much is happening today in missionary witness in the whole world in order to experience the vitality of the universal Church…
  • Support the actual projects of evangelisation which are going on, proclaiming Christ in every corner of the earth !

Become a missionary

We are all called to be missionaries through our baptism! Join us !

Live Mission today with Pauline

Pauline and Mission : a bit of history

For the Church in France the beginning of the 19th century was a period of reconstruction after revolutionary upheaval. From her years of childhood Pauline, together with her brother Philéas, nurtured dreams of mission. When her brother entered the seminary and told her about the material difficulties of the missions, Pauline enthusiastically sprung into action and launched initiatives to collect money. But nothing really took shape until there was a famous game of cards one evening in 1819.

Then it struck Pauline that each person could easily find ten people among their acquaintances who could each give one penny, five centimes, every week for the missions. What followed was a great pyramid organised in groups of 10, 100, even 1,000. Each leader of ten would receive the gifts of each member of their group, each leader of one hundred would receive the gifts gathered by the ten leaders of groups of ten, and so they would finish with having a strong common fund. Pauline put this idea to her spiritual counsellor, Fr. Würtz, who some years earlier had played an important part in her conversion. He answered :

Pauline, you are too stupid to have thought up this scheme… Obviously it has come direct from God ! So I not only allow you to go ahead, I absolutely challenge you to put it into action”.

And so was born what was straightaway called “the Propagation of the Faith”. The principle is very simple : one person collects the offerings of ten people, each one of whom collects the offerings of ten other people, and so on. The collection goes on, hand to hand, every week. Very quickly thousands of people were convinced that this was a dream solution for supporting the missions and the organisation was officially founded on the 3rd May 1822.

Pauline’s zeal spreads like wildfire…

The members of the enterprise would meet for a moment of prayer and exchange. The Annals of the Propagation of the Faith saw the day when they were able to gather news of missionaries in the whole world. The Annals were hugely successful and became the most widespread review of the 19th century. 250,000 copies were published in 1880 in France, and it was also translated into ten languages, with 400,000 copies published.

The work of the Propagation of the Faith, created by Pauline,  obviously then went out of her hands and took on an international dimension, but in the letters of missionaries Pauline is regularly called “Mother of the Missions”. She invented the first social missionary network, which you can join today !

Make a contribution

Join the mission

« Join this mission : pray and encourage others to pray »


Like Pauline Jaricot, we are all called to bring the light of the Gospel message to the very ends of the earth, by prayer and taking an active part in evangelisation. Carry on Pauline’s actions by praying for the universal Church and supporting the PMS !

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