Date of publication: 01/02/2024

February: Month celebrating Human Fraternity and Social Justice

Council General International

Conferences and Councils are invited to reflect on these themes

The month of February brings with it two very significant dates for the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and for humanity as a whole. These are the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HUMAN FRATERNITY (February 4th) and the WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE (February 20th), both established by the United Nations Organization (UNO).

The Council General International invites Vincentians around the world to initiate a reflection on these two days by the reading of texts and articles at Conferences and Councils meetings.

To celebrate “human fraternity”, the UN wants to mobilize all efforts to promote a culture of peace, tolerance, inclusion and solidarity. Above all, it is a matter of respecting people and accepting them as they are, including their religious or political choice, without discrimination and in pursuit of dialogue.

On the “social justice” day, the United Nations’ objective is to underline equality among people, guaranteeing freedom (political, religious, freedom of thought and expression),  working conditions and, opportunities for health and education, as well as care for the disadvantaged, such as children, the elderly and the disabled.

Blessed Antoine Frederic Ozanam played a remarkable role for the Holy Church to promote the concept of social justice, which is consolidated in the Social Doctrine of the Church.

These two “ international days,” defined by the United Nations, are powerful instruments of dialogue on sensitive and essential issues for humanity, which broaden the conscience of societies in search of a more fraternal coexistence among all peoples.

Throughout this year, the Council General International will encourage all Conferences and Councils to reflect on the UN dates that are most representative of the Vincentian charism, and thus improve our actions toward our fellow men and women and among Vincentians.

Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira

CGI Commissioner to the United Nations