Until the 19th century there were no organized from of charitable services in Kerala to care for the poor and the destitute, aged and infirm, unwanted and downtrodden fellow men abandoned in the streets or uncared for at home. Deeply moved by Jesus' words".as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it tome Mt.25:40) Rev. Fr. Varghese Payapilly a zealous and devoted priest from Ernakulam diocese came forward with the idea of founding a congregation to continue Christ's redemptive mission among the poor. Through a providential coincidence, five ladies from Kizhakkambalam approached His Grace Mar Augustine Kandathil, the late Archbishop of Ernakulam, with the desire of leading religious life in a new congregation serving the poor and the destitute. With these young ladies as pioneers the congregation was founded on St. Joseph's Mount at Chunangamvely, Aluva, Kerala, India on 19th March 1927. It was originally named "Little Sisters of the Poor". But in 1933, it was changed into 'Sisters of the Destitute', since there was another congregation having the same title.
Our Founder father himself trained the pioneer sisters to make home visit in the locality and also give care and shelter to the abandoned, destitute, in the same small house where they started the first community. This was the first field of apostolate of S.D., urged by the compassionate love.
Just after two years at its infancy itself, our beloved founder Fr. Varghese Payapilly was called to his eternal reward on October 5th 1929 and Msgr. George Valliarampath was appointed as director and the congregation continued to grow and flourish under his able guidance. It was a great event in the history of the religious of Kerala that Sr. Fidelis and Sr. Christella were sent to States to study medicines in 1954. S.D took radical stepsand made her first missionary journey to Delhi in 1958 and abroad in 1964. The untiring efforts of Msgr. George Valliarampath for a span of 41 years until 1970 when he expired will be remembered with gratitude for ever. Three provinces namely St. Mary's, St. Vincent, and St. Joseph were born in 1985. The three regions gradually developed to three north provinces namely Santhidham, Pushpadham and Kripadham in 2000. The congregation was exalted to pontifical status in 1989.
At present S.D is spread out in India and abroad including Madagascar having Six Provinces with a total number of 210.houses and 1565 Sisters working in 64 dioceses. Being faithful to the founding charism, we are urged to bear witness to the merciful love of Christ in this wounded world through our presence in the following ministries.