Congregation of the Priests of Mercy, under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Who are We?
The Fathers of Mercy is a Marian Congregation of Priests of Pontifical Rite. It was founded in 1808, originally under the title of the “Missionaries of France.” The community’s purpose was the re-evangelization of the French people after the Catholic Faith had been subjected to years of attacks and persecution during the French Revolution.
Pope Gregory XVI placed the Fathers of Mercy under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary when he approved this religious community. As a Marian Congregation, each of it’s members pray the Rosary daily, end all spiritual exercises with the ancient prayer, the “Sub Tuum”, and consecrate themselves each year to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The community holds firmly to the devotion of the Immaculate Conception and believes that the special favors, of which they are unworthy, are due to this special devotion.
The members profess the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. They are committed to the propagation of the Faith and the salvation of souls through the primary Apostolate of preaching parish missions, as well as ministering to those in rural or neglected areas, as they endeavor to manifest the image of the Merciful Father to God’s prodigal children. A parish mission is a five-night spiritual renewal for a church, which includes Eucharistic adoration, the preaching of repentance and catechesis, and the hearing of confessions. As Fr. Rauzan, our founder, observed, “The missions seem to be one of the most efficacious means to bring people back to the principles of religion and wisdom, rare things these days.” Pope John Paul II adds that “the traditional parish mission apparently abandoned too readily is without a substitute for the periodic and vigorous renewal of the Christian life and must be restored and innovated.” The community also staffs multiple religious locations that are in great need of sacramental care.
The community is now headquartered only in America, where the mother-house is located a few miles outside of Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Aware of the crisis of the Faith and the disastrous effects of the French Revolution on the faith of the people, Father Jean Baptiste Rauzan, at the invitation of Cardinal Fesch of Lyons, brought together a small group of priests to form a mission band.
After the great upheaval and persecution which the Church suffered in France during the Revolution, the clergy and laity sought from heaven extraordinary ways to foster the salvation of souls, for most of the people had left the True Faith.
At the Fathers of Mercy, we believe in developing the whole man, body and soul, to make him the Soldier of Christ he’s called to be.
The Chapel of Divine Mercy
Learn about and view images of the buildings and grounds of The Fathers of Mercy Motherhouse, also known as our Generalate.