Emmanuel d’Alzon, having already founded the Assumptionist Fathers, the Pope indicated to him a desire that they take on the Mission of working with the Eastern Church. Fr. Galabert, a medical doctor by profession, was sent to commence the mission in Bulgaria. A generous and warm hearted man, the Missionary quickly realised that access to the local population would more readily be achieved by women, so he wrote to Fr. d’Alzon asking for the help of some Sisters.
Emmanuel d’Alzon had quite a reputation as a Spiritual Guide and with the help of one of his Brothers, soon found 7 women who were prepared to share the dream: Margaret, Madeleine, Marie, Therese, Louise, Veronique and Marie. They were hardy mountain women, the eldest 52 years old and the remainder in their 20’s and 30’s – Fr. d’Alzon referred to them as his “Seven Rough Diamonds”. They commenced their initiation as Oblate Sisters on 24th May 1865 and so the new Missionary Congregation came into being.
Three years later, the first Sisters left France for Bulgaria for what was to be the first of many “missions” – an adventure that continues today.