Our Founder Jean Pierre Medaille was born at Carcassonne in 1610 in the South-West of France. In 1626 Jean-Pierre entered the Jesuit Novitiate and made his first profession of vows two years later. In 1637 he was ordained a Priest and held various responsible posts in Jesuit Colleges as well as serving as Spiritual Director and Confessor to parishioners. On his missionary journeys From 1642 to 1649 many women came in contact with Fr.Medaille. Their desire to serve their neighbor prompted Fr. Medaille to form them in taking care of the sick, orphans and the victims of war and plague etc . As a result in 1646 the ‘Little Design’ was born.
When he was on his mission in Le Puy he met with Bishop Henry De Maupas who hearing about the ‘Little Design’ perceived it as a sign of Divine Providence . Bishop De Maupas accorded the congregation the juridical status on 15th October 1650 and the Congregation was placed under the patronage of St. Joseph.
Fr. Medaille died, at the age of 59 on 30th December 1669 in the college of Billom, due to ill health. From the confidential reports sent by his superiors to Rome it is indicated that he was a man of great spiritual value, gifted with amazing talent to educate, to hold offices of the society, for teaching and preaching .
The eulogy immediately after his death affirms, “ A great part of his life was spent in the missions of this province (Toulouse ) with such reputation for Zeal and holiness he was called ‘The Saint or Apostle’ ”