The mission of the Children of Mary, and its successor the Vincentian Marian Youth, was confided by God to St. Catherine Labouré, through the apparitions of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.
The first Children of Mary were organized into groups in different regions of France, from 1835 to 1847. On June 20, 1847, Father Étienne, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, obtained Pontifical Approbation (approval to exercise their ministry) from Pope Pius IX to establish a confraternity under the title of the Immaculate Conception, in the schools of the Daughters of Charity.
Today the Children of Mary and the Vincentian Marian Youth Movement are present in many countries throughout the world. The Superiors General have always supported this work so dear to the Vincentian Family. In some places young children start as Children of Mary and then move into the VMY. In some other places they remained two distinct groups.
The following one-minute video from the VMY of Southeast Missouri, USA, is just one small example of an activity for the youth– having dinner with some homeless women at a local shelter. There is much more at their website:
“VMY-SEMO invites teens from local Catholic parishes to embrace the missionary spirit of Christ the Evangelizer by serving people living in poverty, and deepening their faith. This is accomplished by implementing Catholic moral teaching within a combination of experiences: prayer, formation, community, and intense service opportunities. Youth mature while experiencing life outside of themselves and the social culture, creating a deeper realization of the need to serve others and a closer relationship with God. While serving people living in poverty, VMY-SEMO works with the people to help them become empowered to find God and ways to better their living situations.” – vmysemo.org