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370 years since Daughters of Charity made first vows

On feast of Annunciation, March 25, 1642, exactly 370 years ago, during the Mass for the day Louise de Marillac, Sr. Barbara Angebost and three other Sisters take their perpetual vows to give their whole life to service of poor. As a souvenir of Mother Louise consecration of her life into service of Lord of Charity Daughters of Charity celebrate renovation of their vows ever since on that day. According to their Constitutions (C.28) Daughters of Charity make their vows in silence during the Eucharist, at the end of the Liturgy of the Word on the feast of the Annunciation, the day chosen by Saint Louise to associate her own gift of self and that of her daughters to the Fiat of the Virgin Mary using a following formula (longer version):

In response to the call of Christ,
who invites me
to follow Him
and to be a witness to His charity
to the poor,
I…renew the promises of my Baptism
and vow to God,
for one year,
chastity, poverty, and obedience
to my legitimate Superiors,
and to devote myself
to the corporal and spiritual service of the poor,
our true Masters,
in the Company of the Daughters of Charity,
in accordance with
our Constitutions and Statutes.
Grant me,
O Lord,
the grace of fidelity,
through your Son Jesus Christ crucified,
and through the intercession of
the Immaculate Virgin.

Constitutions of the Daughter of Charity explain the vows, they are renewing each year in this way:

In order to serve Christ in persons who are poor, the Daughters of Charity commit themselves to live their baptismal consecration through the practice of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience, which receive from this service their specific character. (C.27)
The Daughters of Charity make four vows: service of those who are poor, chastity, poverty, and obedience. To make them validly they must, in addition to fulfilling the requirements of universal law, be authorized to do so by the Superior General. These vows are “non-religious”, annual, and always renewable, according to the Constitutions and Statutes. The Church recognizes them as they are understood in the Company, in fidelity to its Founders.(C.28)

On this special Day of the Renewal of their commitment to the Lord in persons who are Poor we congratulate Daughters of Charity all over the world their decision, perseverance and fidelity to the Legacy of the Founders, and we wish them continues strength and zeal in the service of Christ in the persons of the Poor through another year.

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