It was evident that the purpose of the consecration of his parish to the Immaculate Heart was to get his parishioners to pray to the Immaculate Heart and have frequent recourse to Mary’s loving patronage. To achieve this, he established a religious association or sodality with prescribed prayers, meetings and rules which is called the “Archconfraternity of the Very Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners.” Within 8 days, he had the statues for the association drawn up and approved by the Archbishop of Paris.
On Sunday, December 11, he announced that religious devotions would be held that evening to implore from God, through the intercession of the Heart of Mary, the conversion of sinners. Only ten men were present at the Mass to hear the announcement, but he did not expect a large gathering. At seven o’clock the hour announced for the new devotions, four to five hundred persons, including those who never attended mass were in the church to the amazement of everyone, including the parishioners and particularly the men. These people found their hearts the warming rays of Mary’s love and eventually they joined with real fervor in the singing of the litanies of Our Lady and the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. He still encountered many obstacles but through God help and the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the association continued to grow at a slow, steady pace and to expand territorially.
In the spring of 1838, the extraordinary story of the association which had been instrumental in obtaining exceptional favors, striking conversions and innumerable graces was brought to the attention of the sovereign Pontiff. Gregory XVI, soon issued a brief decree creating and erecting, in perpetuity, in the Church of Our Lady of Victories “The Archconfraternity of the very Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners.” It would soon have affiliated units throughout the world.
The remarkable conversion of the parish of Our Lady of Victories through its consecration to the Immaculate Heart, and the rapid growth and spreading of the Archconfraternity, was a public manifestation, following very soon after the first at the Rue de Bac, of a Divine plan for devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that would continue to unfold itself in the years ahead.