The Missionaries of the Company of Mary is a Roman Catholic missionary community founded by Saint Louis de Montfort in 1705 with the recruitment of his first missionary disciple, Mathurin Rangeard. As early as 1700 Montfort had conceived the idea of founding a society of missionaries. Five months after his ordination, in November 1700, he wrote: "I am continually asking in my prayers for a poor and small company of good priests to preach missions and retreats under the standard and protection of the Blessed Virgin".
In 1713 he went to Paris with a view to recruit members for his community. The director of the seminary Du St-Esprit promised to send him such young priests as would feel called to do missionary work. During the intervals between his missions Montfort wrote the Rule of the Company of Mary (1713) though no official membership would develop before his death. After St Louis de Montfort died in 1716, two young priests and sometimes collaborators, Father Adrien Vatel and Father Rene Mulot continued his mission. From 1718 till 1781 the "Mulotins", although few in number, gave over 430 missions throughout western France, most of which lasted a month.
After the French Revolution Montfort's community was reorganized by Father Gabriel Deshayes, elected superior general in 1821. He received from Pope Leo XII a brief of praise for the Company of Mary and for the Daughters of Wisdom, which had also been formed by de Montfort with the help of Blessed Marie Louise Trichet. The company has since grown to an international congregation of missionary priests and brothers serving in nearly 30 countries and numbering near 1,000 men.
Website of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries): http://www.montfort.org
- Catholic encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09749d.htm