The founder of Our Congregation is Rev. Fr. Louis Savinien Dupuis MEP, a French Missionary. He was born on 18th August 1806 at the city of Sanz in France. His Father’s name was Etheme Louis Dupuis and his mother’s name was Vigthnar Remi. Dupuis is his family Name. He completed his high school education in Sebastian High School at Sanz.
According to the Biblical quote,
“Come with me, and I will teach you to catch men” (Mt 4:19)
He ordained himself as a priest on 25th April 1829 and he joined in the Congregation of MEP on 25th May 1831. He was a fervent and zealous priest. He was a man of heroic faith and seraphic charity. He spent his life in the service of the church, restoring moral customs. His way of life and service reflected the words of Pope John Paul II. “The priest of tomorrow, no less than the priest of today, must resemble Christ”. (Pastores Dabo Vobis, #5). He dedicated himself to seek the perfection of charity in the service of God’s kingdom, for the honour of God, the building up of the church and the Salvation of the world. He started his voyage on July 4th, 1831 towards India as a missionary. He reached India on 9th April 1832. He was appointed as the Parish Priest of Bangalore on 21st August 1832 and he changed his ministry according to the needs. He joined in the Mission Printing Press as a manager on 1st July 1840.
On 18th January 1844, he participated in the Bishop’s synod at Pondicherry. There the church began to recognize the pressing need for women’s education and it was convinced that advancement in women’s education will nurture gamine piety in families and help in raising the Standards of families in general The synod members began to contemplate the possibility of establishing a congregation of Indian sisters to whose care the education of women, imparting of moral and religious instructions along with secular education could be entrusted. It was at this juncture that Rev. Fr. Louis Savinien Dupuis, impelled by his earnest devotion to the accomplishment of the Divine will, came forward to make this venture a reality and founded our Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary Congregation on 16th October, 1844.
He framed the Rules and regulations with simple and solid spirituality taken from the Franciscan sources. He keenly felt the pressing need of education for the poor especially the girls and women in rural areas. He was a man, who worked without expecting any reward. As a good leader and a best spiritual guide, he led the sisters, by understanding their inner feelings and accepting them as it is. He guided the sisters to grow in strong and healthy relationships and to preach the good news to the world. His words inspired them and made them to sanctify themselves and to walk in the right path. His perception was different with the capability of finding the good qualities of human being.
He worked tirelessly for the growth of the Congregation till his death on the 4th of June 1874 and his body was laid to rest in the Cathedral. Later on the 13th of April 1989 his body was exhumed and again solemnly laid to rest at Nirmala Novitiate at Pakkumudayanpet in Pondicherry.