The Missionaries of St Francis de Sales (MSFS), also known as the Fransalians, was founded in Annecy, France, on 24 October 1838, by Fr Mermier, under the patronage of St Francis de Sales. Fr Mermier’s idea was to bring about a spiritual renewal of his people by preaching parish missions. This special apostolate, in turn, gave rise to a community of preachers gathered around Fr Mermier.
The MSFS was founded in response to a desire of St Francis de Sales to found a society of missionary priests. Nearly two centuries after the Saint’s death, his successor in the See of Annecy broached the subject of such a society to Fr Mermier who had been considering the same idea.
Accordingly, Fr Mermier put the design into execution. In 1830, the institute was formed with La Feuillette as the site for the mother-house. It was blessed by the bishop in August 1837, and the congregation canonically instituted by him on 08 October 1838. Fr Mermier, the first superior general, offered himself and his companions to the Pope for foreign missions. In 1845, his offer was accepted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the first missionaries set out for India.
The first batch of the MSFS landed in Pondicherry in September 1845, and they reached Visakhapatnam on 19 February 1846.
The Fransalians went to England in 1861. Since 1903, the congregation has been obliged to leave Savoy for England, where the juvenate, the novitiate and the house of studies are successfully carried on.
The South-West India Province was established in 1991, bifurcating the Visakhapatnam Province. SFS Public School, Ettumanoor, is run by this Province [SWIP].