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MT History

Charles De Forbin Janson is the man who started Missionary Children.

He was born in France in 1785, of a noble family. He grew up with a good Christian education. His mother was a friend of Marie Antoinette, the wife of King Louis XVI, king of France. She actually looked like the queen.

There was a revolution in France and the citizens took control of the country. The aristocrats like the De Forbin Jansons had to flee because the revolutionaries were killing the nobles on the guillotine which chopped off heir heads

Charles' mother planned to take Marie Antoinette's place and let her escape but the queen refused. She was later executed.

Later, Napoleon Bonaparte became the leader of France and he needed many nobles to return to help run the country. The De Forbin Jansons returned and Napoleon selected Charles as a diplomat.

Charles decided he would rather serve God and left to become a priest.

As a priest, he loved the missions and asked the Holy Father if he could go to China to spread the Good News. Pope Pius VII asked him to remain in france where the revolution had made things difficult for the Church.

Charles became a great preacher and travelled all over France preaching the Gospel. He became the bishop of Nancy but the revolutionaries would not let him stay there.

Charles received letters from missionaries in China begging him to help them save the starving abandoned babies there. He did not know how to find money to help. Then one day, he met Pauline Jaricot. She had started a charity to help missionaries. She advised him that no one could understand the needs of children better than children. She gave him the idea to start a children's charity.

In 1843 he called upon the children of France to help save the children of china. He asked them to become Missionary Children, helping to spread the Good News. He asked them to say a Hail Mary every day and give a small coin every month to help feed the Chinese children.

Their motto was "children helping children".

The French children took up this great work and from then on the work of missionary children has spread across the world. Today it is in 110 countries and helps make Jesus known to children all over the world.

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