The Congregation of the Malabar Missionary Brothers of St. Francis of Assisi (officially known as MMB) was founded in the year 1948 in the Arch Diocese of Thrissur, Kerala, India. In 1952 the five Brothers of the first batch made their vows and the M.M.B Congregation was canonically erected. It is a Religious Congregation exclusively of Brothers in the Syro Malabar Church. Our founder Msgr. Zacharias Vazhappilly D.D. was inspired by the exhortation of Pope Leo XIII, “Oh! India, your salvation lies on your children.” He realized the enormous need of vast and wide evangelization works in the virgin filed of post independent situation in India and where the work of foreign missionaries was misunderstood and restricted. He was well aware of the mammoth power and the capability of the Kerala Church for the missionary works. Thus he foresaw a powerful missionary Brothers’ Congregation for the evangelization and the development work of the country. Since the founder was attached by the simple life style, fraternity and poverty of St. Francis, he wanted to have the new born Congregation a Franciscan in life and nature.
The Charism of our Congregation is “evangelize through humble service”. The Franciscan Charism and Tradition help the Brothers to keep poor and simple life style. Besides assisting in pastoral ministry, our Brothers are mainly involved in the work of uplift and welfare of the poor and weaker section of society. The members of the Congregation visualize the Charism by empowering the youth and children through Boarding houses and various kinds of skill development training programs. As mentioned before our other service centers are: Orphanages, Home for destitute and the aged men, Special School for mentally and physically handicapped children, Non – Formal Vocational Training Centers for Dropouts and Unemployed Youth, Press and Publications, Village Education Centers, Boarding Houses, Model farms and diaries based on eco-friendly, Social works, Village Development activities and so on. The Charism facilitates us to adopt the ministry according to the need of the place and situation.
Besides assisting in pastoral ministry by teaching catechism, leading family visits and pious organizations in the parishes, our brothers are mainly involved in the work of uplift and welfare of the poor and the weaker sections of society. After surviving the initial problems the Congregation had a steady growth. Presently the Congregation has 40 mission centers in 18 dioceses spread over 8 different States in the country.
1997 the Congregation was solemnly recognized and declared as a Congregation of Archiepiscopal right in Syro Malabar Church, which is an appreciation for the work of the Brothers. For the functional efficiency and better administration, the Congregation was bifurcated into two Provinces namely St. Thomas Province (South India) and Assisi Province (North India) in the year 2000.