Virgin Of The Poor Society

The Virgin of the Poor Society is a team of spiritual benefactors dedicated to serving the poor through prayer, reflection, and celebration. Our founder, Venerable Fr. Aloysius Schwartz, had a great devotion to the Virgin of the Poor, and we strive to maintain such faithfulness in our everyday lives.

Who is the Virgin of the Poor?

On January 15th, 1933 in Banneux, Belgium – 11 year old Mariette Beco witnessed the first apparition of the Virgin of the Poor, also known as Our Lady of Banneux. She described her experience as seeing a young woman wearing a white robe, with a blue sash, smiling at her. It was the first of 8 apparitions in which Mary revealed herself as the Virgin of the Poor. She asked Mariette to place her hands in a nearby spring, and said that it was “reserved for all nations, to bring comfort to the sick.” Many miraculous healings have occurred at this site, making Banneax a pilgrimage destination for the faithful.

Our Lady has brought incredible hope and healing to those who have asked for her intercession, including our founder, Venerable Fr. Al Schwartz. We honor her love of the poor with this prayer society.

What is spiritual commitment?

  • Get to know Fr. Al, his life and his work.
  • Share in the mission of the Sisters of Mary and the children.
  • Live a life of simplicity.
  • Pray with us.
  • Sign up below!

Learn more about the children

The children at our schools come from the poorest of the poor. Each child has their own stories of what their life was before coming to our schools and how their lives are being transformed by the Sisters of Mary programs.  Read the moving stories of our children in their own words. 

Meet Our Graduates

There are 160,000+  graduates from the Sisters of Mary Schools. Many of our graduates went on to live prosperous lives, helping their families and local communities. Read the inspiring stories of our graduates in their own words. 

Life At Our Villages

Learn more about how we help children break free from a life of poverty.