The Daughters of Charity
The Daughters of Charity is a worldwide Society of Apostolic Life called to serve Jesus Christ in persons who are poor and marginalized. Like women in other religious communities, the Daughters make vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. What distinguishes the Daughters, however, is a fourth vow of service to the poor. Another distinction is that Daughters of Charity do not make perpetual (eternal) vows, but renew them every year on March 25, the feast of Annunciation. This permits them to choose again commitment to God and the poor.
How They Began
The Daughters of Charity were born on November 29, 1633. The mission of assistance to the most abandoned goes back to a French peasant priest, Vincent de Paul, and an aristocratic woman, Louise de Marillac, who established the Daughters of Charity in response to the needs of the poor in 17th Century France. Over time, the Daughters of Charity spread to every corner of the globe. The "white wings" of the Daughters of Charity became a universal symbol of charity throughout the world.
What They Do
The ministries of the Daughters of Charity include education, spirituality, healthcare, the creative arts, pastoral ministry, and advocacy for children. As the needs of the poor change, so do the Daughters' services. The Daughters of Charity mission calls for innovation and invention, collaboration, and inclusion. In whatever the Daughters do, they perform their service in imitation of Jesus Christ. The Daughters of Charity continue their ministry at St. Vincent's HealthCare, a service that began in 1916.
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