National History

“Find a need and fill it.” - Mary Virginia Merrick

At age 18, before the Christmas of 1884, Mary Virginian Merrick persuaded her sisters and some friends to make a layette for a family in extreme poverty with a baby due to be born at Christmas, in honor of the Christ Child.  The layette was delivered to the deeply grateful mother and father. 
The late 1880s were not easy years for Mary personally.  She endured surgical treatments and hospitalization.  At 19, her parents died within a short time of each other. Mary took over many of the household responsibilities despite paraplegia from a spinal cord injury in her early teens.

Nevertheless, her circle of friends continued to grow throughout this period, and the Society of the Christ Child, later to be known as the "Christ Child Society," was established in 1887.
To learn more about the National Christ Child Society, our history and our founder Mary Virginia Merrick and her cause for Beatification and Canonization please go to