Our History

In the 1870’s, a frail young woman, from a single parent family, in prayer receives what she calls her “four graces” and the vision that she is to found a religious Congregation. She meets opposition from her mother, her brother, Church authorities and others – yet she trusts in God’s providence and founds the Little Company of Mary in Hyson Green, Nottingham in 1877. Her name was Mary Potter. 

Hyson Green, Nottingham, UK

Inspired by what she came to describe as the Maternal Heart of the Mother of God, Mary gathered other young women and together in an abandoned factory, five Sisters began to pray and care for the sick and especially the dying, just as that original ‘little company’ that stood with Mary at the foot of the cross.  

As the years went on, Venerable Mary Potter and her Sisters of the Little Company of Mary carried their mission of love from England to other countries:

Ven Mary Potter, Sr Cecilia, Sr Philip and Bishop Bagshawe c.1903 Florence, Italy

Italy 1882, Australia 1885, Ireland 1888, United States of America 1893, Malta 1894 -1991, South Africa 1904, Argentina 1913-1975, New Zealand 1913, Scotland 1919-2010, Rhodesia now Zimbabwe 1937, South Korea 1963, Kingdom of Tonga 1974, Wales 1983-2005, Haiti 1989-1998, Albania 1993-2004, Tunisia 2002-2004 and the Philippines 2009. 

Calvary Hospital, Rome, Italy

Always, we have remained the ' Little' Company of Mary - the numbers have never been great. Mother Mary always likened it to the small group who stood with Our Lady at the foot of the cross on Calvary, for it is there that they live out the spirit of the Congregation in the company of Mary. We have been enriched by those who share our spirit as Associates, Affiliates, Co-workers and through prayer for the dying throughout the world.