Rev. Fr. Peter Mermier (1790-1862) had manifested his desire to become a priest to serve the people from his childhood days. In the year 21st March 1813 he had ordained as a Priest. When he was working as a teacher at Melan he had formulated his own philosophy of education. Optimism, fidelity, gentleness, hospitality, kindness, cordiality and positive regard for others were some of the shades of his saintly personality.
Father had founded the congregation of the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod for the education of poor peasant girls. He initiated the educational apostolate of the Missionaries by undertaking the management of the secondary schools of Melan and Evian in France.
Fr. Mermier firmly believed that “education of the heart is the heart of education” and that it is incomplete without human formation. He envisaged an educational programme marked by respect for children. He advised his teacher-confreres to love their pupils to be a mother to them by their tenderness and a father by their prudence. “True education,” according to him, “is opening the heart rather than mind”. He insisted to inculcate knowledge, wisdom and discipline in their pupils.
These Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales are a congregation of Fathers and Brothers founded by Father Peter Mermier in 1838 at Annecy, France. It was his desire to instruct the youth and lead them along the right path. For this purpose, he started preaching missions, conducting camps and running Educational Institutions. The members of the M.S.F.S are in the educational arena of India for the last 165 years. Under them there are more than 110 educational institutions throughout our country. In Andra Pradesh, alone there are 22 S.F.S Schools. They are engaged in education ministry – conducting schools, technical and sociological institutes, hostels, orphanages, home for the aged and mentally challenged, besides catering to the spiritual needs of the people.
After an eventful life, leaving behind a heritage , Father Peter Mermier had breathed his last on 30th September 1862.