In every age God has been generous in giving special gifts of the Holy Spirit to certain men and women, according to the needs of the time and the place. In the 19th century, St. Vincent Pallotti one among those called by God for a unique apostolate. That was the time when the Church was considered to be mere body of clergy. The laity had no role to play. At the social level, the political upheaval was at its peak. Christians were beginning to lose their faith and spirit of Charity. In those times of commotion God sent his servant Vincent. Vincent was born on April 21st 1795, in Rome, Italy, to Pietro Paolo and Magdalena De Rossi. Being brought up in a pious atmosphere from the childhood, he decided to become a priest and reached the altar of God on May 16, 1818.
The multifaceted apostolic activities of Vincent flowed from his personal experience of God as Infinite Love. He believed that all human beings, created in the likeness and image of God himself, could find meaning in life only when they love God and their neighbor. He prays, “My Jesus, anyone who does not love, can not live.” He experienced Jesus as the Apostle of the Eternal Father. And he gives Jesus Christ as the model of the apostolic life. Jesus came to this earth to fulfill God’s plan of salvation of humankind by his life of love. So also every Christian is called to be apos-tle. The words of St. Paul “Love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor. 5:14 became his motto. As all are called by God to follow Christ, all are also called to his apostolate. With this convictions, with Mary Queen of the Apostles as his spiritual guide, he resolved “to awaken faith of Christians, to re-kindle charity, to lead all people to unity in Christ, to call all the bap-tized to apostolate and live the Church as communion.” For this purpose he founded the Union of the Catholic Aposto-late (UCA) on January 9th 1835. He called the clergy, religious and the laity of all walks of life to be united as one body. He said: “the Catholic Apostolate, that is, the Universal Apostolate which is common to all classes of people, consists in doing all that one must do and can do for the greater glory of God and for one’s own salvation and salvation of one’s neighbor.”
He also founded the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (SAC), popularly known as the Pallottines consisting of religious men and women, who dedicate their life to God after Vincent Pallotti’s Charism, to serve the UCA. Vincent Pallotti reached the abode of God on January 22, 1850 at San Salvotore in Onda, Rome, where his incorrupt body is still venerated.
The Pallottines have been working in different Parts of the world in various ministries after the model of St. Vincent Pallotti. The Generalate of the Congregation is in Rome in the house ‘Piazza S. Vincenzo Pallotti’ where Pallotti lived. The Whole congregation has 15 Provinces and 8 Regional territories for their Mission in all the Continents. After 65 years Pallottines in India has contributed a big number of priests and a large number young men aspiring to become priest. The Pallottine men as well as women have made a significant contribution to the Church’s universal apostolate in the footsteps of our founder St. Vincent Pallotti. Please, keep the Pallottine Congregation and their mission endeav-ors in your daily prayers.
Fr. Jacob Alvares, SAC.