The love of Christ
Vinzenz Pallotti, 1795 - 1850
They called him the Apostle of Rome. They honoured him as a saint during his lifetime. Pallotti is the founder of the Society of Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines)
One of the most important words in Vincent Pallotti’s life was the term Apostolate. Within it he understood "to revive belief, to ignite new love and spread it around the world". Apostolate is dedication to the grace of God, care for the spreading Gods kingdom and responsibility the fellow man.
Vincent Pallotti detached the function of the apostolate from the strict hierarchy as they were forced to with the course of history. He gave them their original freedom back and pronounced the missionary vocation of all believers. This was acknowledged by the second Vatican council and thereafter confirmed the dreams of our saint. His past is our future, as well at that of the church.
The catholic apostolate
The visions he had were great. The word Jesus pulsed through him:" I have come, to bring fire to the earth". To be able to transform the general "catholic" apostolate, a society, which should be the driving force and invigorating heart was required. He therefore founded the Association of Catholic Apostolate and gave it the special mission to guide Catholics towards a deeper belief of their apostolic vocation and to ignite their love such that they could put it into practice. So called Priests, brothers and sisters and Pallottines, form the most inner circle of the apostolate. Enclosed around them in the spirit of the saint himself, they attempt to realise his dreams from the past and make them a reality in the present day.
Emancipation of the layman
Pallotti’s dreams brought motion to the constraints of the church. Outspokenness in a hardened constitution. He was already considering the full emancipation of laymen. Only this way could he envisage a fruitful future for the worldwide church. Only close work with priests and laymen (UNIO) can the gospel crusade succeed. Laymen are "Women and men of the church in the middle of the world and women and men in the middle of church". They receive missions which are not for the priests and the churches hierarchy to tackle or solve. The apostolate cannot be fully developed without the assistance of laymen. St. Vincent had to wait over a hundred years - after he had longed for this during his lifetime - before a council for the church accepted his ideals. The seconds of eternity tick slowly still.
However, the vigour und unrest of the saint
is still today our pulse and our life, as well as our pleasure and our responsibility. His dream is not a firmly established lesson, nor a dogmatic system, but rather the living Jesus. We dream with him of a church without audience, from a world of Christian commitment and love. Vincent Pallotti is a saint, a star above the beginning millennium. He guides us towards the light of God.