The St. Francis de Sales Association is the lay branch of the Society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales, which was established in 1872 and whose Constitutions were approved by Pope Pius X in 1911. The association is a private, international association of the faithful created to promote and encourage the personal holiness of its Roman Catholic members, who are called to fulfill the mission of the Church according to the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. The parent organization is currently located at its center in Paris, France and is under the jurisdiction of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Vatican City, Italy.
More information from our official listing in the Pontifical Council for the Laity's "International Associations of the Faithful Directory" follows. You may also visit the Vatican listing here, scroll down through the alphabetical listing to 105. St. Francis de Sales Association.
The origins of the association date back to 1872 when Abbé Henri Chaumont and Caroline Colchen Carré de Malberg set up a group in Paris for members of the laity living in the world, called the Society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales, which was canonically established in the Archdiocese of Paris in 1891. In 1911 the Holy See approved the Society of the Daughters of St Francis de Sales. In 1889 four Daughters of St. Francis de Sales left for Nagpur, India to work as missionaries. The name Catechist Missionaries of Mary Immaculate was given to them by Abbe Chaumont. In 1954 the Catechists adopted the name of Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, and in 1968 they were recognised as a religious congregation within the Society of the Daughters of St Francis de Sales and united with the Lay branch (the St Francis de Sales Association) by a common body, the Superior Council. On 22 May 1994 the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued a decree recognizing the Saint François de Sales Association as an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right.
The association is a spiritual family created to pursue the personal holiness of its members, called to evangelize their own environments according to the spirituality of St Francis de Sales and with a particular devotion to the Holy Spirit and Our Lady. The formation program followed by the associates, which is based on the methodology of a probationary period, lasts for two years and ends with consecration without vows, the renewal of the baptismal promises and pledging allegiance to the Most Holy Trinity and to Mary. Each associate is left free to undertake other ecclesial commitments.