Monasteries of Great Britain and Ireland – Society for African Missions


Missionary. Under No Vows. Founded 1850.

The Society of African Missions of Lyon was founded in 1850 by Monsignor de Marion Brésillac, with the blessing of Pius IX and the encouragement of the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda.

It is not a Religious Order, but a Society of secular priests bound together for one object and living under a common rule. The members take no vows, but on entering they promise to devote themselves entirely, even to death, to the service of African missions. In return, the Society binds itself to supply them with all their spiritual and temporal needs according to their age, health, and place in which they are working, but with strict regard to the rule of holy poverty.

Since its beginning the Society has never shrunk from the perils which beset missions in Africa, where not only the heat, the climate, and deadly fevers are to be encountered, but barbarous and cruel nations have to be converted and civilized. The first missionaries of the Society were sent to Sierra Leone in 1858, and a few months after the founder himself joined them; but shortly after their arrival they all died of an epidemic then raging there. In 1861 fresh missionaries set out for the Slave Coast, and opened a house at Dahomey. Since then numbers of the Society have gone out and worked unceasingly among the black population on this coast, where they have opened schools and founded missions. They have also worked for years among the Hottentots or Namaquas on the Gold Coast, in Egypt, and other parts. The Society has an Apostolic College with fifty students at Cork in Ireland.

MLA Citation

  • Francesca M Steele. “Society for African Missions”. Monasteries of Great Britain and Ireland, 1903. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 December 2018. Web. 26 April 2019. <>