In the late 19th century, many people in Switzerland had to endure hardship with life being much harder than it is today. Large families were common; very few mothers were expected to have their babies in safety; mortality figure of mothers and children during child birth was high; and while the mother was incapacitated, there was none who would look after the other children and the household. Qualified nurses were few and rarely would they take up family care. Public appealed to the religious congregations to set up nursing homes. Due to religious and social reasons they could not meet this growing demand. These hard conditions led to the foundation of the Society.

Towards the end of 1908, out of compassion for the suffering mothers, Fr. Wilhelm Meyer took the courageous initiative to found an institute, the members of which would devote their lives to maternity welfare. In those days, the idea that the Sisters would work in families was against all existing norms. Since the Federal Constitution banned the formation of new congregations, he decided to found a religious Society under the name, “The Society of St. Ann”, in which the members would bind themselves by a solemn promise. It was among the members of ‘Youth Homes’ he had established, he found the first generous souls who were willing to assist him in the work of the Society of St. Ann.

On February 15, 1909, the first aspirant showed her interest. Within two months two more followed. The first three Sisters had their solemn reception into the Society on November 21, 1909, on the feast of the Presentation of Our Lady. The Sisters worked in poor families; their nursing services were in great demand; they would carry out their duties from week to week, from early morning till late night. This work reflected love, compassion and self- denial and gained appreciation and approval of the public. Fr. Meyer laid down the rules and Mr. Hans von Matt, assisted him in drafting the statutes in 1909 called the “Swiss Society for the care of the sick and mothers” which provided legal identity for the foundation. Pope Pius X sent the Apostolic Blessing on the Society of St. Ann in October 1910.

All this became possible because of ‘the spirit of self sacrifice’, which was the Soul of the Society. The growth of the Society was marvelous, and many girls responded to the call. Appeals for help in nursing care poured in from villages and towns, from far and wide. Initially the Sisters and the candidates were stationed at a temporary house. On July 6, 1911, the first House of St. Ann was blessed. Spring 1918 witnessed another joyful event, when the first hospital was inaugurated in Luzern and the Sisters moved into the first Mother house. Our Founder’s expression, “Every beginning is difficult” shows the humble and silent development. The Society of St. Ann grew solidly as it is indicated clearly in the words of the Founder: "The Society of St. Ann is built upon a firm rock, the will of God… The Society is the work of divine providence and His works endure although people change or pass away. Whatever is built on the Lord is built on solid ground”.