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Mary Virginia Merrick - Our Founder

The Christ Child Society was formed in 1887 in Washington, D.C., by Mary Virginia Merrick, Servant of God.  Our remarkable founder started the Christ Child Society as a teenager from a recumbent wheelchair by gathering family and friends together to provide local infants expected at Christmastime with essential clothing and blankets.


She grew the Christ Child Society in Washington, D.C., by creating many programs to assist children, with the charism in mind that we should see the Christ Child in every child and treat them accordingly. Soon more chapters formed and the National Christ Child Society was established to connect them together. Mary Virginia Merrick continued her work and leadership of Christ Child until her death in 1955 at the age of 88.


Her tireless endeavors for children - despite being in constant pain - made it clear that “Nothing is ever too much to do for a child”. Her long life of service and faith is an example and inspiration to all Christ Child members, and the Catholic Church is currently evaluating her Cause for Canonization.

“When I read ‘She wrapped him in swaddling clothes,’ I longed to do the same, and He Himself taught me that I might still do so in the person of His poor, and a great desire was born within me to go out and find the poor that I might find Him.”

Mary Virginia Merrick, Servant of God

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