The Charity of Christ Urges Us On
St. Vincent Pallotti, who was born on April 21, 1795, at Via del Pellegrino, 130, Rome, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rome on May 16, 1818. Pallotti believed that the clergy, religious, and laity had a responsibility to proclaim the Good News while acknowledging that each played a different role in the process. Diversity marked his life. As a priest, he reformed clubs and religious organizations; organized evening trade school classes; served as Spiritual Director of several Roman colleges; was pastor of Holy Spirit, the Neapolitan national church; and was a writer and promoter of the apostolate of the press.
On April 4, 1835, he founded the Union of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) and initiated, through subsequent years, the community of priests and brothers of the Catholic Apostolate and the community of the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate. He entrusted to the members the task of instructing, animating, guiding, and supporting the unity of the Union of the Catholic Apostolate. To this end, different communities of sisters, secular institutes, and associations of the faithful cooperate in ways specific to their own identity.
Pallotti believed that God possesses boundless love and infinite mercy in bringing all people to the realization of God’s infinite love. He stressed that God would never abandon the people He created in His own image, even when sin separated them from Him. Pallotti understood that, through God’s love and mercy by sacrificing His Son for His creation, the apostolic life of each Christian consists in imitating Jesus Christ in loving God and neighbor. St. Paul’s saying “The Charity of Christ urges us on,” (2 Cor. 5:14) became the motto of Vincent Pallotti and the motif in his teachings and charism.
Pallotti died on January 22, 1850, at the center of his new Community, San Salvador in Onda, Rome. Pope Pius XII proclaimed Pallotti “Blessed” on January 22, 1950, and on January 20, 1963, Saint John XXIII formally proclaimed him “Saint.”