The International Vincentian Family Symposium and meeting with the Pope in Rome from 12 to 15 October
A Jubilee Year in the footsteps of Saint Vincent de Paul as a sign of globalized charity: this is the theme that animates the large Vincentian Family, present in 150 countries with over two million members, in the year in which it celebrates four centuries from the birth of the Vincentian Charism.
An intense year of rebirth and spiritual renewal begun in January with the pilgrimage of Saint Vincent de Paul’s heart (making a tour of France and, in the next four years, continuing through Europe and then around the world) and continued in June in Brussels with the presentation to Parliament of the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance Project. Its official launch is scheduled for 14 October at the meeting with the Holy Father during this large Family’s International Symposium, planned for Rome from 12-15 October.
Four days of prayer, reflection, meetings, and fraternity will bring together in Rome, from all over the world, those who have chosen to follow this charism, fruit of Saint Vincent de Paul’s experience. “This ‘little mustard seed’ sown in 1617 developed into the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity, branched out into other institutes and associations and became a great tree (cf. Mk 4:31-32), your Family — the Pope recalled in his message for the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism. — Everything, however, began with this little mustard seed. Saint Vincent never wanted to be a hero or a leader but a ‘little seed.’”
“To serve God in the poor, through preaching the gospel (mission) and supporting the needy (charity): everything took off from there and from there arises this desire for the globalization of charity,” as Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, explained on the eve of the Symposium in Rome, for which some 10,000 people from 90 countries are expected. “It will be a time of grace for those who can be physically present in Rome, but also for those who cannot be here. We will all be connected thanks to modern means of communication because, with all our heart, we want this to be a celebration of the entire Vincentian Family, of all those who feel close to this charism. I want you all to feel embraced in these days. Together we open our hearts to Jesus; Jesus will speak and we will answer because we want charity to be globalized and we will do our utmost to move forward in that direction.”
A direction that in this year has come to life in a variety of situations: in Brazil, for example, the Vincentian Family wrote an open letter to condemn the corruption that is destroying the foundations of the country’s society; in India, it decided to build homes for the homeless; in South Korea, the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill have launched new services to support North Korean refugees; in Haiti, it began its activity through the presence of two Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity.
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). This is the theme of the Jubilee and also the theme of the Symposium during which the other initiative of this Year of Grace will be launched: the International Film Festival of the Vincentian Family, “FindingVince400.”
The official presentation of the Vincentian Family Symposium will be held during a press conference in Rome next week during which you can get to know the key players of the initiative.
338/190 24 36
Letter of Pope Francis to the Vincentian Family: http://famv.in/Francis-ENG