This year, the theme of the SSVP’s International Youth Day is “Vincentian Youth: Committed to Quality Education”.
In this regard, we would like to share the oficiai letter:
Paris, July 4, 2022
To the Young Vincentians
To the National/Superior Councils SSVP members around the world
Subject: International Vincentian Youth Day of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Dear friends, the 4th of July, as well as the entire month of July, is already a historic date for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, because since 2017 we have celebrated and commemorated the International Vincentian Youth Day of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
The presence of young people has been a feature of our association since its foundation, with the seven young friends from Paris who, in 1833, started this great “network of charity”. And since then, this network of charity has grown and expanded throughout the world.
The last census (2021) surveyed by our International Youth Committee showed that in our organization we have 27% young people between 18 and 35 years old (216,000 members), 6% between 12 and 17 years old, and 5% between 0 and 11 years old, totaling 38% young people.
Within the Council General International, we have formed an exclusive Committee with young leaders, with an International Vice President, 12 territorial delegates, and 1 specific department for Children and Adolescent Conferences. It is important to point out that, within the General Council, young people have the right of opinion, vote in important decisions, the annual budget, and freedom and encouragement from the entire board. This committee works to carry out their activities and to continue with the purpose of motivating more and more the presence of young people in all our Vincentian ranks.
Pope Francis when addressing young people at the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, put it this way: “There is nothing more beautiful than to contemplate the yearning, the commitment, the passion and the energy with which many young people embrace life. This is beautiful, and where does this beauty come from? When Jesus touches the heart of a young person, they are capable of truly great actions. Therefore, we are fully convinced that the young Vincentians already do and can do even more great things.
You, dear friends, are essential in our dearest Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Celebrating this date with you fills us with joy and motivation to continue supporting, encouraging and giving importance to the work you do, with audacity, availability, protagonism, vitality and much joy.
Today also marks the liturgical feast of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who died at the age of 24, but who was able to dedicate his entire youth to the service of the poor, since he was an active member of a Vincentian Conference in Italy. He lived harmoniously with his good friends; he was sporty, playful, studious, had a spirituality based on the daily Eucharist, the prayer of the rosary and the practice of charity. Frassati found holiness at a young age, in the ordinary of his brief life, and he is, for sure, an example for each one of you.
We therefore have reason to declare him in 2017 as Patron of the Young Vincentians of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and to this day we have this date in our memories to celebrate the greatness of his youth as an example of a Vincentian who was able to find sanctity in his daily actions.
For this year’s celebrations (2022), we want to reflect on the motto “Vincentian Youth: Committed to Quality Education”, because besides celebrating, we want, with practical and effective actions, to show that we are also young people engaged, committed, and protagonists in changing the civil society that needs so much, especially the Poorest.
We invite all the young brothers and sisters, National or local Committees, National Councils and other levels of the structure, to think about the theme of Quality Education, and put it into practice. From the simplest actions to the most complex ones, as a real concrete gesture of the celebrations of the International Vincentian Youth Day of the SSVP, because we know that with Quality Education, we can break the vicious circle of poverty and this means charity, social justice, Vincentian mission and commitment.
And to conclude, we would like to remind you that this year we have launched an International Cultural Contest for young Vincentian SSVP members between the ages of 18 and 35, also with the theme of Quality Education as an effective means to combat poverty. This contest will award at least 12 young people (at least one from each territorial region) with all the costs paid to participate in the International Youth Meeting of the Vincentian Family (Felgueiras) and the World Youth Day with the Pope (Lisbon), both events in Portugal in 2023. Don’t miss out– visit our website and see how to participate.
We are happy that you, dear young people, have chosen the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul to be your channel of holiness, being the most practical way to live the Gospel. Thus, we are a living Church, through the footsteps of Saint Vincent de Paul, our seven founders, and with the intercession of another companion in heaven, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
Happy International Vincentian Youth Day of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul!
Bro Willian Dimas da Silva Alves
Vice President for Youth, Children and Adolescents
Bro Renato Lima de Oliveira
16th International President