The Congregation of the Children of Mary was established in response to Our Lady's command given to St. Catherine Labouré in July of 1830. The Blessed Mother wanted a new confraternity established in the Church that would be linked with the gift of the Miraculous Medal. Fr. Aladel, St. Catherine's confessor, was charged with establishing the work which, at first, was limited to only the orphans and students cared for by the Sisters of Charity.
In 1847, Pope Pius IX conferred on the Children of Mary all the indulgences already granted to the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin long established in Rome for the pupils of the Society of Jesus. In 1850, young boys were first permitted to make their consecrations and in 1876 membership was extended to include all young people.
In 1904, the Marian Congress at Rome recognized the Children of Mary as a distinct lay society in the Church and in 1931, the Children of Mary was recognized as a worldwide confraternity open to all Catholic parishes and institutions.
Pope Pius IX entrusted the work of the Children of Mary to the intercession of St. Philomena, the young virgin-martyr.
Today, the Congregation of the Children of Mary is part of the World-wide Family of St. Philomena. The Children of Mary is an organization for young people between the ages of 7 and 18 who wish to consecrate themselves in a special way to Our Blessed Mother. The sign of membership is the Miraculous Medal worn on a broad blue ribbon. The congregation is co-sponsored by the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena and the Universal Living Rosary Association of St. Philomena. The youth members share in all the graces and indulgences attached to these two organizations.