On the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Holy Father wishes to spiritually join the action of thanksgiving of this happy commemoration and at the same time to set forward an invitation to passionately renew the commitment of service to the Church in the unselfish love to the most needed brothers and sisters.
Vatican. 12th November 2008
Sr. JosÃ© RamÃ³n DÃAZ- TORREMOCHA
SociÃ©tÃ© de Saint- Vincent de PaÃºl
Dear President General
On the occasion of the CLXXV Anniversary of the Foundation of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Holy Father wishes to spiritually join the action of thanksgiving of this happy commemoration and at the same time to set forward an invitation to passionately renew the commitment of service to the Church in the unselfish love to the most needed brothers and sisters.
Since its birth in Paris in 1833, the Society of St Vincent de Paul with its local Conferences has wonderfully spread throughout the world, always answering the specific needs of poverty and instability, not “with words or tongue, but with actions in truth”, (1 John 3, 18). The pressing impetus of Christian charity, that is already present in the birth of this Society as is maintained as its authentic reason of being, should continue to be a true reflection of the love that God has for each one of His children and is a sure means of continuingly experimenting His merciful presence, as “everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4, 7).
With the awareness of being living instruments of the Lord, bearers of the Gospel of charity, the members of the Conferences have to always look for the possibility to renew these deep meanings of faith, those that move Christians to perfect acts of charity, and continue to take Jesus Christ as a model of the Good Samaritan, therefore never allowing the acts of charity set forth so eloquently by the first members of this Society to flag; an experience that has always been present within your distinguished tradition.
In today’s world, people that suffer any kind of poverty, whether it is through new or traditional forms of destitution, continue to require the consolation of charity. Unselfish love towards thy neighbor, withÂ Â Â Â Â sensitiveness developed from a deep spiritual life, will increase the necessary creativity and enough bravery in order to cure the wounds of those that most suffer. Charity, therefore, can not only be limited to material aid, but also goes beyond this and offers support and peace for the spiritual difficulties of humankind. Following the trail of the founder, the Blessed Frederic Ozanam, this anniversary will give new enthusiasm so that faith will neither be separated from action nor from the charity work of the brave and clear apostolate, as “They realize that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of .
With these sentiments, the Holy Father invoking the intercession of St Vincent de Paul and the Blessed Frederic Ozanam, conveys a special Apostolic Blessing to all members of different local Conferences of theÂ Â Â Society of St Vincent de Paul throughout the world.
I would also like to use this opportunity to manifest the testimony of my consideration and esteem in Christ.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State of His Holiness
Tags: Pope, SVDP