Occasion of tenth General Assembly, on Theme Ephata
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The following is the text of the video message sent by the Holy Father Francis to the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, gathered in Paris from 29 October to 21 November 2021, on the occasion of the Tenth General Assembly on the theme Ephata:
Video Message of the Holy Father
Dear Sisters, you are gathered in Assembly in Paris in your Mother House at Rue du Bac, to reflect, in the light of the Gospel, on your mission. The theme you have chosen is a courageous one, Ephata, and leads you to consider the need to “cross the threshold of the door …”, not to tire of “going towards …”, of “meeting”. This has been your characteristic from the beginning. A company of women created to go and bring the love of Christ to the poor. This has led you all over the world, not only to assist the poor in large institutes, hospitals, orphanages, and schools but also to visit them, to go out to meet them in the places where they live, to participate with them in journeys of human growth, of promotion of life, of spiritual care.
I invite you to look at the beauty of your vocation, which is beautiful! God has entrusted his beloved poor to you! You are mothers and sisters to them – not mothers-in-law! mothers and sisters. Mothers, because with your love, your attention to all their needs, you generate them to the Love of God and you reopen them to the beauty of life. Sisters, because you support them in their condition and accompany them to rediscover dignity in the many paths of life that you take with them. In this way, increasingly you become Daughters of Charity, which, according to the thought of your founder, St Vincent de Paul, means being Daughters of God, the authentic image of the greater Love that Christ God Himself witnessed to us.
As Daughters of Charity, in this time marked by so many contradictions and so many forms of marginalization, you have a historic role as women who live a particular form of consecration, that of accompanying so many of our brothers and sisters who are victims of violence and discrimination, of raising children who are the first victims of abuse by adults, of guarding and defending life around you, with your smile, your care, your dedication to the service of the little ones. I invite you to work so that everyone may be guaranteed the fundamental rights that ensure a dignified life, to help safeguard our common home, to pass on faith and Christian values to the new generations, and to educate them to care for one another. There is so much to do! God calls you to respond with your generosity. God calls you to meet, to listen, to walk in history, to walk together to share the events of humanity.
You are still a great spiritual force in the Church and in the world. I pray to the
I pray to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, the only Mother of your Company, to protect you in your vocation and to give impetus to your mission. May the Lord bless you, may Our Lady protect you and, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.