Date of publication: 14/07/2022

The essentiality of the universal logo of our Confederation

Council General International

A Unique logo strengthens the unity of the SSVP worldwide

At the last annual plenary meeting of the Council General International, held in the city of Paris (France), June 13-17, 2022, the subject of the universal logo of the Confederation was widely debated, with the democratic participation of all those present.

Decision by consensus is encouraged in the Rule of the Society (article 3.10) and in Basic Requirement No. 9, and it was strongly emphasized by our founding fathers, based on Vincentian tradition. Therefore, realizing that there would be no consensus or unity of opinion on the options under consideration, I decided to remove the subject from the agenda, and so we leave this deliberation for a more appropriate moment.

Since no decision was taken, the resolution approved in the Assembly General Extraordinary (AGE), which took place 23 years ago, in 1999, in the city of Fátima (Portugal), remains valid:

Resolution #6: It was decided to adopt a logo, a flag and a hymn for the whole Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

This resolution received 86 out of 88 votes. There were only two abstentions. No National Council opposed the content of this resolution. It was decided that it would be up to the Permanent Section to create a commission to hold an international competition and then conduct the final choice.

The contest took place during the year 2000, with more than 500 designs submitted, which had to meet four criteria: visual impact, symbolism, originality, and universality of the design. The final choice of the logo took place in February 2001, in Rome (Italy), during the meeting of the International Executive Committee (which, at that time, was called the “International Coordinating Committee”), with the choice of one of the four finalists.

The winning logo (blue circle with the solidarity loop in the center, with the acronym SSVP and the motto “Serviens in Spe”) received the majority of votes, with no abstentions. Once the universal logo was approved, the countries requested a five-year implementation period between any existing national logos and the new logo, which was authorized by the Council General.

In 2018, in Salamanca (Spain), the members of the International Executive Committee and the Permanent Section approved a slight upgrade of the logo as we know it today, and the “Manual for the Application of the Universal Logo” was also launched. Since then, 75% of the countries of the Confederation have adopted this unique logo. The Manual is available here.

Many of us were neither in Fatima (1999) nor in Rome (2001) to participate in this process, but we have to respect the decision taken by our predecessors, made in an Assembly General Extraordinary, with the favorable majority vote of the National Councils.

I encourage all National Councils to adopt the official universal logo of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, so that we have a unique visual identity, in harmony with the decisions issued in the past; a logo that ultimately represents our values, the mission, and the vision of the SSVP.

Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira

16th President General International