At the invitation of Margaret Hennessy, director of the English Academy in Porto, three Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary and two postulants were sent by Father Gailhac to Portugal in September 1871. Strong anti-clerical feeling had been growing there since the late 18th century. The sisters in the first community in Portugal, which was to become the largest province in the Institute, were not discouraged by initial persecution and privation. Within ten years, the English Academy in Porto had moved to larger premises, and an elementary school for the middle class was added; a free elementary day school for the very poor was also established, and a daily meal and clothing were given to poor children.
Students in the RSHM school in Braga, Protugal, 1895-1896
In 1876, in answer to an appeal from some Catholic families, a school was opened in Braga. In 1886 sisters from Braga went to Chaves with the intention of opening a school for poor children.
1st College in Porto
After the death of Father Gailhac, other houses opened in Portugal at Viseu, Aveiro, Guimaraes, Lisbon, Coimbra, Fátima, Portalegre, Covilha. Today Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary continue the ministry of education staffing several schools. They are also present in rural areas throughout the country.
Colegio de Nossa Senhora Do Rosario
Porto, October, 1926