+338 190 24 36 info@famvin.org

PRESS RELEASE: Pope Commends International Association of Charities (AIC) on 400th Anniversary

The Press Office of the international religious family of St. Vincent de Paul is pleased to share this news of the continuing celebration of the 400th Anniversary of its founding. Puede descargar una versión en español abajo.


(ROME: Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement and thanks to members of the International Association of Charities (AIC) as it celebrates the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the first Confraternity of Charity by Saint Vincent de Paul in Châtillon, France.

This very first group has grown into today’s AIC, an international network for fighting against poverty, which now has over 150,000 volunteers in 53 countries.

In his message the Pope notes that true promotion of human dignity cannot take place without the proclamation of the Gospel.

“It is with joy, he writes, that I am spiritually united to you to celebrate this anniversary and I hope that your beautiful work continues its mission of bringing an authentic testimony of God’s mercy to the poorest”.

Pope Francis points out that the Charities were born of the tenderness and compassion of Monsieur Vincent for the poorest and the marginalized.

“His work with them wanted to reflect the goodness of God towards his creatures. He saw the poor as the representatives of Jesus Christ, as the members of His suffering body. He understood that the poor too were called to build up the Church and to convert us”.

The Pope says that in the wake of Vincent de Paul, who had entrusted the care of these poor people to lay people, and especially to women, AIC aims to promote the development of the most disadvantaged and to alleviate their material, physical, moral and spiritual pain.

“It is in the Providence of God that the foundation of this commitment is to be found” he says.

For “what is Providence but the love of God who acts in the world and asks for our cooperation?” the Pope continues, encouraging AIC members to continue to accompany the person in full and to pay particular attention to the precarious living conditions of many women and children.

He says it is faith that allows us to perceive the reality of the person, his or her incomparable dignity which is not limited to material goods, to social, economic and political problems, but as a person created in the image and likeness of God, a brother, a sister, a neighbor for whom we are responsible.

This is why, Pope Francis continues, human promotion, the authentic liberation of man, does not exist without the proclamation of the Gospel “for the most sublime aspect of human dignity lies in this vocation of man to communicate with God”.

Pope Francis recalls that in the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy he expressed the hope that “the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God” and he invites all to pursue this path as the credibility of the Church goes through the path of merciful love and compassion that open to hope.

“This credibility, he concludes, passes also through your personal testimony: it is not only a question of meeting Christ in the poor, but that the poor perceive Christ in you and in your action. By being rooted in Christ’s personal experience you can contribute to a “culture of mercy” that deeply renews hearts and opens up to a new reality”.


For more information, or to schedule an interview with Alicia Duhne, International President of the AIC (in Spanish) contact Aidan R. Rooney, C.M. at info@famvin.org.

To read more about recent Anniversary events of the AIC, click here.

Find out more about the AIC in various languages at http://www.aic-international.org/en/ .

This and more videos can be found on the AIC YouTube channel at “https://youtu.be/GJ1j2oa1cjw”

Additional videos can be found on a special playlist at the Vincentian Family YouTube channel.

PRESS RELEASE • Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the origin of the Vincentian Charism 1617-2017

With the words: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matthew 25:35), the worldwide Vincentian Family inaugurates a Jubilee Year … a time during which it celebrates the four hundredth anniversary of the origin of its charism of service on behalf of the poor.

The year 1617 was decisive with regards to Vincent de Paul’s vocation. Two significant events occurred: on January 25th, the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Vincent preached “the first sermon of the mission” in Folleville (France). That event took place several days after having heard the confession of a dying man which made Vincent aware of the spiritual abandonment of the poor country people. Some months later, in August of the same year, as pastor in Châtillon, Vincent experienced the material poverty and misery of his parishioners … an event that transformed him into the Saint of Charity.

Vincent understood that it was necessary to instruct the people, to make them aware of their dignity as children of God and to teach them the truths of God’s plan for humankind.
The events that took place in Folleville and Châtillon during the year 1617 mark the origin of the Vincentian charism and for 400 years the followers of Vincent de Paul, the members of the Vincentian Family, have dedicated themselves to service on behalf of the less fortunate members of society.
At the present time, the Vincentian Family is composed of some 225 branches (various religious communities and lay associations) and is present in more than 80 countries.

Among the more well-known branches of the family, we highlight here the International Association of Charities (AIC), the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity (founded with Saint Louise de Marillac), the Vincent de Paul Society (founded by Blessed Frederic Ozanam), the Miraculous Medal Association, the Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY), Vincentian Lay Missionaries (MISEVI) and the Daughters of Charity of Saint Joan Antida Thouret.

The Vincentian Family is present on five continents and engaged in various ministries in which they “welcome the stranger” in their midst: health care ministry, works of education/formation, works of human promotion and development, works in which they care for homeless people, for refugees, for abandoned children and for single mothers.

The Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity, Father Tomaž Mavrič has encouraged the members of the Vincentian Family to celebrate this year through participation in four common projects:

  1. The pilgrimage of the relic of the heart of Saint Vincent which will begin on January 25th in Folleville, France. This relic will be received in all those countries where the Vincentian Family is present.
  2. Participation in a project to end homelessness throughout the world and this includes caring for refugees, migrants, street people, displaced person, etc.
  3. An International Symposium during which the participants will reflect upon their mission and charism. This event will take place in Rome (October 13-15) and will include a meeting of the Vincentian Family with Pope Francis.
  4. International Film Festival: an international competition that will focus on the life of Saint Vincent de Paul.

For more information contact: info@famvin.org





info@famvin.org +338 190 24 36