“We commit all our strength to inculturate the Gospel, that is to say, to prolong the Incarnation to all men, in the whole of man, and in all the manifestations of man” (Const., 5).
Our specific goal, following the call of John Paul II, is the evangelization of the culture. We seek to inculturate the Gospel in the various cultures so that they can be redeemed. In this way we seek “to sum up all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10). The Institute was born within the Church; it is nurtured by her wisdom, and therefore; uses the various methods utilized by the Church’s best: the Saints (Const., 5).
Our mission is the “evangelization of the culture.” This evangelization takes many forms. For example our sisters:
- work in hospitals, homes for both the elderly and abandoned children, as well as in the aid of the disabled;
- work in Catholic parishes to assist with Catholic education and parochial catechesis;
- support parish missions and spiritual retreats;
- are God’s instruments in the struggle to maintain the sanctity of life through active assistance in pro-life outreach programs;
- give testimony to the faith by means of Christian charity, fostering the unity and the respect of other religions through prayer and dialogue.
- and much more …
Fourth Marian Vow
We also make a fourth Vow of Marian slavery according to the method of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, thus entrusting ourselves entirely to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother and model.
Our Essential Elements
To better understand our charism we have defined certain elements that are proper to the same, we call them the non-negotiable elements. These are the elements that are deeply engraved in our spirituality, our religious identity.
The Dignified Celebration and Participation of the Holy Mass
The first non-negotiable element is the dignified celebration and participation of the Holy Mass. In other words, for us the Mass, both the ars celebrandi and the ars participadi, are something very special. Participating in the Holy Mass is the best thing that can happen to anyone on a daily basis, and we must always take care of it as a great treasure. We must strive to make our participation in it more active, more conscious and more fruitful. This is the reason why we try beautifully to solemnize the Holy Mass with sacred music and songs performed by a choir.
The Holy Mass is the most important event of the day.
One saint said that the day is divided into two parts: the first is before the Mass, preparing for it, and the second part is after the Mass, in thanksgiving. This is how each one of us must live our day.
A Serious Spirituality (not sensible)
We are vehemently inclined to live a non-sentimental spirituality, namely, a deep spirituality, not seeking simply the feeling of superficial emotions, since like all emotions, they are transient. On the contrary, doing the thorough and deep work indicated by the great masters of spiritual life, such as Saint John of the Cross and Saint Therese of Jesus: that of passing through the dark nights of the spirit and of the senses, both active and passive, in order to purify the soul and, by then, to be able to be more united to God, and above all, by the exercise of the virtues of faith, hope and charity.
As strange as it may seem to many Christians today, we believe that the Cross is what attracts souls to Jesus Christ, as He Himself prophesied: “When I am lifted up on high, I will draw everyone to me (John 12:32).” And, in a special way, this is what happens with vocations of special consecration.
Supreme docility to the Magisterium of the Church
Docility of the Ecclesiastical Magisterium of all times: The church is not something invented by us, nor did it begun to exist when we were born. The church was founded by Jesus Christ and He is its sole founder. He promised that He would be with us every day of our lives until the end of time. He also promised that in His Church, which He founded upon Peter, evil would never prevail. That is why He gave Peter that name, which means he is a rock, the solidity of the rock; the firmness of faith.
The Church founded on Peter will have Divine protection, so that, despite what has already happened in all centuries, in which there have been heresies, schisms, false doctors, and false prophets, She continues to teach the same doctrine that Jesus Christ taught. She continues to preserve its morality; and the sacraments are the same as those instituted by Jesus Christ. Biblical interpretation, which although is becoming more and more profound, continues to have the same meaning as in the preaching of the Apostles, the Holy Fathers and the doctors of the Church.
This is the mystery and the grace granted by our Lord Jesus Christ to the Church He founded. A mystery revealed in Sacred Scripture and in the artistic inscription seen by every person who enters in the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome, where at the base of the main cupula it can be read: “You are Peter, on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Mt 16:18).” This must always be our mark of honor: to be “Cum Petro and Sub Petro”- “With Peter and Under Peter”.
Clear intention of following the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas
It is our intention to follow the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. This is what the Holy Mother Church has commanded; the Second Vatican Council states: “Let Saint Thomas Aquinas be your teacher”. (Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalis. 1970, n.86), in a particular way, with regard to the theology and the perennial philosophy of St. Thomas.
The Popes have recommended the reading of “The Doctrinal Authority of Saint Thomas Aquinas”, a book where we find innumerable beautiful references from Saints and Popes about him; just to mention the following quotes: “Out of the respect he had for the Holy Fathers, he somehow received the understanding of all of them”. And, “Man learns more by studying St. Thomas for a year than by studying the other doctors for a lifetime.
For this reason, the work of the “Fabro Project” is of great importance to our institutes. Father Cornelius Fabro has been a qualified interpreter of St. Thomas Aquinas and has been a specialist, like few others, of modern philosophy. He knew how to be at a ‘top’ level in his métier; for example, he did incredible things, like learning Danish, to be able to translate Kierkegaard from his own language into Italian.
Apostolic and missionary creativity
We must have great creativity in our missionary and apostolic endeavor, so that we can may reach souls.
We strive to form our young people, both men and women, so that they “do not avoid the missionary adventure,” as said by that great missionary, Saint Torivio of Mongrovejo.
It is precisely this creativity, which makes us use well the best means, for the propagation of the Gospel. It is worth mentioning the preaching of the Spiritual Exercises on the Internet. This is missionary and apostolic creativity! And this is what is undertaken, in many ways and everywhere.
Strong community life in an atmosphere of Joy
We attempt to live a strong community life, and to live such community life in an atmosphere of joy, of healthy happiness.
This example of life has attracted the attention of many people who have known our communities, and who, after being with us, have said: “They are so happy! They are so filled with joy!” The apostle Paul states repeatedly: “Rejoice, I say it again, rejoice!”. In the words of Chesterton: “Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian”. Therefore, if God exists, what reason can there be not to be joyful? He exists! He Is!
Anchored in reality
We must and, it is our desire, to work for the effective insertion in the arena in which we are to evangelize! In such a way, that when we work apostolically, we must do it, knowing how to realistically reach the concrete objective. For example, in a popular mission, our aim is the transformation of the people; so that all the people can be truly happy. That all, as far as possible, can come closer to God, our Lord. So that they can grow more in devotion. So that they can renew their good and holy resolutions.
This consists of choosing the “outposts” in the mission. In large environments, such as Latin America, evangelization took place, but unfortunately, in a very superficial way, ‘just skimming the top’. And this is due to the lack of contemplative life both male and female. These are the forms of consecrated life that, in a very clear and evident way, express the essence of the Gospel, which is none other than to seek only what is necessary, which is to love God, and by loving God, to love one’s neighbor. This is the reason why St. Therese of the Child Jesus is the patroness of the missions. St. Therese did more for the missions with her prayer in her convent than the missionaries themselves.
We have the grace of having the so-called “emblematic destinations”, that is, missions in places that, at this time have a great lack or crisis of vocations, a reality that is present almost everywhere. This is what is happening in the countries of Central Asia, or in some countries of Africa, where evangelization has arrived only recently.
To be able to respond to these needs of the Church, there must also be other foundations where vocations to the consecrated life are more common; that is to say, there must be a certain balance. This balance stems from the fact that, in the first place, and this must always be repeated: a vocation is a gift from God: gift means gift. A religious vocation is a gift from God; therefore, we must be grateful for this gift. Above all, we must safeguard the reasons why, we presume, that God is blessing us with so many vocations, and in this way, to be able to continue doing good. If we were to lack vocations to the religious life, we would not be able to do what, by the grace of God, we are doing.
Primarily, the fundamental and substantial factor that awakens vocations to consecrated life is the Cross of Christ. If one offers young men and women a place where they can be crucified for Christ, where they may bear exceptional fruits, they will choose it.
Works of Mercy
The ninth non-negotiable element is the works of mercy, especially with the poor and the disabled. God blesses us greatly because we take care of His poor. As long as we serve the poor, God will continue to send vocations. He is the first one interested in having His poor cared for. This is the reason why Jesus says, “Whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward (Mt 10:42).”
Supernatural vision of Divine Providence in our life
We are children of God. God is our Father, infinitely good. We depend on him. He feeds the birds of the air, he makes the lilies of the field bloom, how much more will he do for us! How can he not feed us? How can he not give us what we need to be clothed?
The Book of Wisdom 11:20, tells us: “You have arranged everything with measure, number, and weight!” Everything that happens, happens according to God’s number, weight and measure. It is God who pulls the strings of history!
Trust in Divine Providence makes us live with the poverty proper to religious life, with great joy, without worldly preoccupations, and this is what, undoubtedly, bears fruits. He has said it, “You will go and bear fruit in abundance” and not simply ‘some fruit’, but fruit in abundance!
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Our congregation was born under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it has grown under the mantle of the Virgin Mary; it has flourished under the mantle of the Virgin Mary and will endure under the mantle of the Virgin Mary.
We must never forget that, on that first Good Friday in history, Jesus Christ gave us his Mother as our Mother! This is the very reason of the fourth vow of consecration in slavery of love to the Blessed Virgin, who has protected us marvelously and will continue protecting us.
As her children, it is good to know how to be grateful and to acknowledge that she is our Mother!