The Beginnings

The Twelve Maidens

The birth of Ursuline Franciscan Congregation took place in 1887 on April 10, on Easter Sunday, in the Rosario Cathedral parish of Mangalore. On this memorable day Fr Urban Stein S.J. brought together twelve young women of the Cathedral parish who came forward to help him in his diverse parish activities. As the history book of the Congregation "BRANCH OF THE VINE FRUIT OF THE BRANCH" records, ’He needed more eyes to see, more hands to attend to the sick, infirm, aged and neglected too: succour and solace had to be brought to them in the dark corners where they lay. What Stein himself could not do, he would see that others did. Only these had to be chosen and named’. These twelve zealous educated maidens, hailing from the noble families of Mangalore, promised virginity to God and pledged themselves to serve the local Church. Thus Fr. Stein S.J., the Founder-Director of the group, in a way unknown to him was laying the foundation for the future Ursuline Franciscan Congregation. This pious lay association was then christened as the ’COMPANY OF ST URSULA’.