PICPUS, pîk'pus', CONGREGATION OF (Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary): A Roman Catholic congregation founded at Paris in 1805. The founder, Pierre Marie Joseph Coudrin (b. 1768; d. Mar. 27, 1837) was led to undertake the work by contemplation of the effects of the French Revolution on morals and religion. He desired an organization the purpose of which should be the conversion and moral and religious instruction of both sexes, and should commemorate by suitable services four phases of the life of Christ--his childhood by free instruction of children, his private life by Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (q.v.), his public life by preaching and missions, and his suffering and death by the practise of austerities. He was encouraged and assisted by Bishop J. B. Chabot of Mende, and the congregation took its name from the street and buildings in Paris in which it was instituted. In 1817 confirmation was granted by Pius VII., after which seminaries were founded and preaching to the people was begun. In 1826 missions to the heathen were sent out, six priests going to the Sandwich Islands. In 1833 Gregory XVI. entrusted to the congregation the mission for eastern Oceania. From that time the two branches of work, education and preaching, were greatly extended. Missionaries went to various parts of Oceania and Australasia, to North and South America, and to Africa, while in all these parts as well as in Europe educational institutions were established; there being 200 with 12,000 scholars in Oceania alone. The celebrated Father Damien (see VEUSTER, JOSEPH DE) was a member of the congregation, and a large number of equally devoted but less celebrated missionaries have contributed to success, and have added to the sum of knowledge by books dealing with the languages and ethnology of the islands and lands where they have labored.
There is a branch of the congregation for women, The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary; the foundation of which was laid in 1800 by Coudrin and Henriette Aymer de la Chevalerie (d. 1834). Prior to the separation of Church and State in France, the sisters had establishments in France, and such are still found in Belgium, Holland, Spain, England, and South America.