Rt.Rev.Bishop Fortunatus Henri Caumont was born in France on December 10, 1871. He being the 2nd child of 8 children, his mother had a deep influence on him. She taught him to be calm and self-controlled in the midst of trials. In 1888 after experiencing the loss of his father, the young widowed mother barely 37 years of age, looked up to her son for his support. In the course of time he expressed his desire to join the priesthood, and she being a God fearing person, gave her full support and assurance. Henri was ordained a priest in 1896 and in 1897 was appointed for the mission in India. In 1913, he was appointed as the first Bishop of Ajmer. The God-oriented courageous widowed mother offered all her children to God as Priests and Nuns; finally she too followed her children in joining the religious life. They were all very thrilled to work for the mission in India What a windfall of spiritual graces indeed!
In 1897 when Rev. Henri Caumont arrived in Rajasthan, it was in a state of total barrenness, both physically and spiritually. The vast majority of people were bound in poverty, famine and social evils. The women were very much isolated and oppressed. Bishop Fortunatus Henri’s heart was moved with compassion for the local people and he sought the permission of Pope Pius X, to begin the Congregation of the Mission Sisters of Ajmer on April 26, 1911. Bishop Fortunatus Henri Caumont was a Visionary, a Prophet, gifted with a remarkable intelligence, affectionate nature, keen foresight, and strength of character, had a great desire to be a Missionary; to help the poor and needy, particularly women and girls who were deprived of their rights and privileges. Right from the start, he set about the task of establishing his Mission on a firm footing. He was in every sense a Prophet. Though he dealt with the present, he looked ahead of his times.Being a genius, he scanned the future of ‘India-to-be’ and worked tirelessly by training his daughters who would carry on the work which began by the foreign missionaries.
‘May the cross shine on the barren hill’
He gave us, the Mission Sisters of Ajmer, this motto‘IN HOC SIGNO VINCES’ – ‘In this sign you shall conquer’
In his great love for his people and his zeal to be with them, he used to often travel from one village to another, regardless of his health. Bishop Fortunatus had gone to Jhabua for a visit on horseback, where he suffered a massive heart attack. On April 4, 1930, he breathed his soul into the hands of his Maker with the last words, “Jesus, I love You without reserve, Amen. Alleluia.”