Rt. Rev. Fortunatus Henry Caumont was born on 10th December 1871 in the City of Tours in France. After his schooling he joined the Capuchin Order on 1st August 1889. He was ordained priest on 19th December 1896. Very early, as a capuchin, Fr. Henry asked the Superiors to send him to the missions. He expressed his surrender to the mission and the will of God through the following:

To live - I love God
To die young - I love God
To be in good health - I love God
To be always suffering - I love God
To go out to India - I love God

God and His adorable will: what else matters!

Jesus My Master and my Brother,

Grant that I may always be your apostle

And that always and everywhere I may love you.

Fr. Fortunatus Henry Caumont arrived in Rajputana, India on 16th December 1897. In 1903 he was appointed as the second Prefect Apostolic of Rajputana Mission. He founded the first indigenous Congregation, Prabhudasi Sisters of Ajmer at Rajputana on 24th May 1906. On 26th April 1911 he founded the second indigenous congregation Mission Sisters of Ajmer. In 1913 the prefecture of Rajputana was raised to the status of a diocese and Msgr. Fortunatus Caumont was appointed the first bishop of the newly formed diocese of Ajmer on 22nd May 1913 and he was consecrated bishop on 28th October 1913. This great missionary slept in the Lord on 4th April 1930.

It may be very interesting to know that the first Superior General of an indigenous congregation is a foreign nun who was also a member of FSMA Congregation. Mother Mary Fortunat our first Superior General was born on 28th January 1877 at Tours, France. She joined SMA Congregation in 1894 and made her first profession in 1896. She came to Rajputana with her brother Bp. Henry Caumont. In the beginning she taught children at St. Mary’s School, Mhow. In 1916 she was entrusted with the great responsibility of the formation and training of Prabhudasi Sisters. She served the Congregation for 37 years with utmost motherly love and kindness.

The Founding Members

  1.  Sr. Magdeleni
  2.  Sr. Maria
  3.  Sr. Elizabeth
  4.  Sr. Cecily
  5.  Sr. Salome
  6.  Sr. Martha
  7.  Sr. Agnes


    The first Constitution prepared by our Revered Founder based on the Rule of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis in 1907. On 7th January 1936, the ‘Nihil Obstat’ from Rome was obtained and Constitutions were approved. The Constitutions of the PSA were revised by a duly constituted committee of sisters appointed by the Chapter of 1984. The Congregation raised to ‘Pontifical Right on 9th July 1999 and the Constitutions were finally approved and confirmed through Prot No. A 140-1/96.


    As a precious gift for the Great Jubilee 2000, the Congregation of the Prabhudasi Sisters (Handmaids of the Lord) of Ajmer was graciously given the status of ‘Pontifical Right’ on 9th July 1999, by Pope St. John Paul II.

Origin, Growth and Spread of PSA in India & Overseas

    The Prabhudasi sisters of Ajmer (Handmaids of the Lord) is the first indigenous Religious Institute founded in Ajmer on 24th May 1906 by Rt. Rev. Fortunatus Henri Caumont OFM Cap, the first bishop of Ajmer diocese. The whole of Rajasthan state was then one diocese.

    When the French capuchins first came to Rajputana (Rajasthan) around 1890, and started working among the poor, illiterate village people, they found that owing to the ‘purda’ system and other social restrictions, it was not possible for men missionaries to approach the women folk and as long as the women folk remained ignorant of the Gospel message, it was impossible to bring the Gospel values to their families. Of course, there were the sisters of the St. Mary of Angels from France. But they could not succeed due to their lack of knowledge of the local languages and customs.

    Hence to overcome this difficulty, Rev. Fr. Henri Fortunatus Caumount saw in his vision the need of an indigenous congregation of sisters who could easily meet the village women, speak to them in their own language and dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their service. Thanks to the Lord, without much delay, his dream was realized. He could recruit seven newly converted girls, who were eager to dedicate themselves to the service of the poor and started a new congregation to which he gave the name “Prabhudasi Sisters’ (Handmaid of the Lord) and placed them under the patronage of Our Lady of Annunciation.

    Prabhudasi Sisters of Ajmer were effective missionaries from the very beginning. The founder’s vision is being fulfilled as his beloved daughters continue to spread in the service of gospel in North India and other parts of the country. Wherever the sisters went they educated the poor children, looked after them in the boardings, cared for the sick in dispensaries, visited the village and families regularly and engaged themselves in faith formation. They worked hard for the uplift of the poor women and girls through various kinds of social work. They helped in all the pastoral works and parish activities.

    In 1999 our congregation was raised to ‘Pontifical Right.’ Along with the slow and steady progress of the congregation it stepped out to wider areas in its mission journey. At present it has five hundred members, divided into two provinces-St. Teresa’s Province, Udaipur and St. Joseph Province, Jaipur respectively.

    At present our congregation is rendering services in 15 states, 17 dioceses in India, Italy and Germany with 72 communities. Our service is given to all especially the poor, the neglected and the marginalized in order to bring joy, peace love and life of Christ to them in the spirit of our Holy Founder according to our charism.