Clerical Congregation of the Missionaries of Faith (MF)
The “Pious Union of the Missionaries of Faith” was erected by the Bishop of Cortona (Arezzo) on 27 December 1973. From the very beginning the Missionaries have the specific aim to help the priests and religious, the separated brethren and brethren of other religions in order to lead them to the evangelical life. From a Pious Union the Congregation of the Missionaries of Faith was erected and constituted as “Clerical Religious Congregation of Diocesan Right”, by Card. Joseph Siri, archbishop of Genoa, on 25 December 1982. We read in the decree: “We erect and constitute it, with all the rights, the duties, the privileges of which are wont to and can enjoy such Religious Congregations according to the current canonical legislation, both general as well as particular”. Until 1988 the Congregation had its General House at Creto, Archdiocese of Genoa. On 15 April 1988 the General House was shifted to Rome. The spirituality of our Congregation is perfectly expressed in our motto, Gratia et Gaudium in Fide – Grace and Joy in Faith.
The Most Holy Trinity is the titular of the Institute: the Father as sign of eternal bounty, the Son as example of life and the Holy Spirit as the source of holiness and the source of every mission. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the principal patroness of our Congregation, invoked with the title of Mary Queen of confessors of faith”. She, the handmaid of the first Priest, Jesus Christ, is the model of life of the Missionaries of Faith and mother, sister and friend. Other patrons are: St. Michael the Archangel, the Guardian Angels (defenders against the enemy), St. Joseph (guardian of the Redeemer, husband of Mary, unique custodian of the mystery of God, a just man, a man of work, of silence, faithful executor of the commands of God, an exceptional teacher in the faith and in serving the salvific mission of Jesus), St. Peter (a man of solid faith, the foundation stone of
the Church) and the Apostles, St. Paul, St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the holy
The Founders of the Congregation were Miss Anna Maria Andreani and Fr. Luigi
Graziotti. The Lord has made use of their activity to give the Church a specific
charism that the Church herself has accepted, approved and made it to become its
own and that now lives in our Congregation and its members. The foundress died on
16 June 2002.
Charism, Apostolate, Spirituality
We the Missionaries of Faith, as our name attests, wish to offer our whole life for
the mission, announcing and witnessing the faith in every part of the world, in the
name of Christ and with the mandate of the Church. We want to be heralds and sign
of God’s presence and of His goodness and mercy, of His infinite love that welcomes
and forgives always. We recognize or feel that we are called to be witnesses of a
strong and courageous faith to the men and women of today so as to help them find
their way back to the Father through Jesus the Saviour, the fullness of life and source of joy. The name Missionaries of Faith expresses the initial charism and the particular spirituality of our Congregation and determines the purposes or areas of commitment in the Church. “Mission and Faith” initiate, characterize and distinguish the charism and spirituality of our Congregation and the relative demands of life in the Spirit and of authentic and continuous asceticism. Missionaries of Faith refers to men called by God to a mission of permanent importance and of present needs: to rediscover,to vivify, to persevere, to reach the complete profession of faith. The name also tells
us that the charism of the Congregation, on the one hand, it must be kept up with
fidelity, from the other hand, it must be adapted to the journey of faith according to
the needs of the times and places.
The name “Missionaries of Faith” determines, also, the fields of commitment in the
Church. We are “convinced that the ministry dedicated to help the brethren, above
all the priests, to persevere in the catholic faith and to the commitments this entails,
to enliven one’s own life of faith if languishing, to rediscover it if lost, to reach the
full profession of faith if only partially accepted, is a service of singular advantage
to the Church”.
The decree of the canonical erection of the Institute indicates as the finality of the
Congregation, the proclamation of the love of God to all men and the sanctification
of its members: “The new Institute places itself at the service of the Church to
proclaim the love of God to all men, while promoting the personal sanctification of
The Congregation, according to the decree of erection, has these specific aims that
are also constitutive of its mission:
1) “The exercise, above all, of any form of apostolate in favour of priests and of
religious, to lead them to the sanctity of their vocation and to the humble obedience
to the Church, to be of support and fraternal assistance to them, to help and
recuperate those who are in difficulty and in uncertainty.
2) – The acceptance of apostolic activities aimed at the separated brethren and those
of other religions for leading them to the Catholic Doctrine and to the true
3) – The dedication to the brethren in the Faith through the preaching of the Gospel
and of the christian virtues, the explanation of the Catholic Doctrine, the apostolate
for the reconciliation of souls far away from God, meetings with youth for promoting
the development of one’s own vocation”.
The spirituality proper of our Congregation has a trinitarian dimension. Our
spirituality is marked by the mystery of the most Holy Trinity. The ecclesial
communion, reflection of the Uni-trinitarian communion and lived in docility to the
Pastors, chosen by the Holy Spirit, is poured out in the communion of our
communities and of the whole Congregation by means of the same Spirit that is
given to us and who calls us and sustains us in this particular life of Missionaries of
Faith. We are a people gathered in the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy
Our spirituality is characterized by faith and mission, our foundational charism. The
Missionary of Faith needs to have a solid contemplative and apostolic spirituality
because he must be “rich in interior life”. “The contemplation of the Missionary of
Faith is the fruit of a fullness of love, in a very elevated state of grace so as to live
in continual dialogue with the most holy Trinity”. On Christ whom the Spirit
presents to us as the beloved son, we plan our life, we let ourselves be guided by his
Word and by his example up to the cross. Our spirituality distinguishes itself for
being contemplative and active at the same time. It is understood as a harmonious
composition between consecration and mission, between contemplation and action.
Therefore, we cultivate intensely our personal and communitarian spiritual life,
guided by the constant action of the Holy Spirit, the source of all interior renewal.
Our first Constitutions recommends: “the Missionary of Faith is to pray and is to
contemplate while working, fleeing idleness and vanityof life: Laborando ora”.
Each Missionary of Faith, is to have a great faithfulness in the liturgical and the
personal prayer, the times dedicated to mental and contemplative prayer, the
celebration of the Eucharist, source and summit of the life of the Church , the daily
Eucharistic adoration, the assiduous reading and meditation of the Word of God and
the devotion to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, model and patroness of every
consecrated life, the monthly recollections, the spiritual retreats, frequent recourse
to the sacrament of reconciliation and the spiritual direction.
Founding and Growth of the Congregation
The “Pious Union of the Missionaries of Faith”, erected by the Bishop of Cortona
(Arezzo) on 27 December 1973, right away began to spread into several Italian
dioceses: Fabriano, Casale Monferrato, Savona, Sora and Genoa. Once it was
erected as a Clerical Religious Congregation of Diocesan Right, on 25 December
1982 it began to spread in various other parts of Italy. In October 1989 the
Congregation started its first house outside of Italy, in India, in the Diocese of Eluru,
Andhra Pradesh. Then the Congregation began to spread various other countries.
Global Presence of MF
The Congregation, at present, has its mission in the four continents of the world
(America, Asia, Europe and Oceania). As on today, the Missionaries of Faith are
present in 46 dioceses spread in 12 nations.
The Congregation has four provinces (the province of the Philippines, the province
of St. Paul (IND), the province of St. Peter (IND), and the Province of Vietnam),
three vice-provinces (the Vice-province of Italy, the Vice-province of Myanmar and
the Vice-province of Oceania) and one Delegation (the Delegation of North
America). Besides these the Congregation has a Mission at Arunachal Pradesh
(under the pastoral care of the Province of St Paul), a Mission in Austria (under the
pastoral care of the Province of St Peter) and a Mission in Japan (under the pastoral
care of the Province of Vietnam).