The third class, C, may be considered to include those associations of the Church the main object of which is the well-being and improvement of a definite class of persons.
The director of the archconfraternity, to whom application for admission can be made personally or by letter, is the superior of the Oblates of St. It is directed by the Fathers of the Holy Ghost and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Its organ is the missionary monthly, "Echo aus Knechtsteden".
It cannot, indeed, be denied that those sodalities are, by their spirit and entire organization, better equipped than other confraternities to make their members not only loyal Catholics but also true lay apostles for the salvation and blessing of all around them. Consequently these sodalities are described below in detail separately from the others.
In the course of time other pious Church societies sprang from the Sodalities of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or were quickened by these to new zeal and fruitful labours, e.g. All sodalities, pious associations , and confraternities may be divided into three classes, although those classes are not absolutely distinct from one another.
An interesting example of such an association of the year 1183 is described in the "Histoire générale du Languedoc" (VI, Toulouse, 1879, 106 sqq.), as an "association formed at Le Puy for the restoration of peace".
Pious associations of this kind, however, soon appeared, which were solely under the bishop and had no close connexion with an order.Benedict." This association, that was founded in 1877 under Pius IX in Austria, was transferred to North America in 1893 during the pontificate of Leo XIII , and in 1910 received from Pius X the right of extension throughout the entire world.In 1848 a pious woman, Anne de Meeûs, established at Brussels in Belgium a religious society which had as its object to unite the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament with work for poor churches. From the era of the Middle Ages very many of these pious associations placed themselves under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin, and chose her for patron under the title of some sacred mystery with which she was associated. Maria di Naupactos 1048", in the "Bullettino dell' Istituto storico italiano", no 31 (Rome, 1910, 73 sqq.).Originally this formed two distinct confraternities, which owed their origin to the Dominicans.