Date of publication: 14/05/2024

On May 15th, we celebrate the “International Day of Families”

Council General International

Home visits are one of the most prominent actions in the SSVP alongside poor families

Today,May 15th, humanity will be celebrating INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES. The date was established by the United Nations (UN) in 1994. Therefore, this year marks the 30th anniversary of this feast.

The UN aims to encourage debate on current issues, especially climate change, relating them to the theme of the family. This date honors the family institution, which is the center of society and essential for the moral formation of all individuals.

The theme of the family is closely related to the Church and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Numerous popes have written documents portraying the situation of families, highlighting the struggles they face and presenting, in response, the virtues of the Holy Family of Nazareth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

We also remember the families of our seven founders, especially the Ozanam Family, whose life story is itself a valuable example of resilience, spirituality, holiness, and service. Antoine-Frederic, Amelie and Marie-Josephine are another remarkable example of family for us, Vincentians.

For us at SSVP, families are at the heart of Vincentian activity, as home visits are the most important action carried out by the Conferences since its foundation in 1833, in the effective fight against various forms of poverty, including moral, spiritual, and material poverty.

Families have been undergoing various transformations. In the 21st century, families are bombarded with narratives, ideologies, and values that undermine human dignity, such as abortion and euthanasia. We know that weakening the family is the beginning of civil society’s destruction.

The Council General International recommends that, during the week of May 15th, all Conferences and Councils choose family-related themes as spiritual reading in their meetings and events.

As a suggestion, we recommend reading the Apostolic Exhortation “Familiaris Consortio,” available in nine languages, where Pope Saint John Paul II, with mastery and doctrinal depth, rescues the role of the Christian family in today’s world.

Familiaris Consortio:

www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/pt/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio.html

More details about the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES:

https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-of-families