On February 3rd 2007 the Holy Father Benedict XVI, during the International Symposium organized for the 60th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia, defined the Secular institutes as “one of the innumerable gifts with which the Holy Spirit accompanies the Church on her journey and renews her down through all the ages”.
Secular Institutes are a special gift of the Holy Spirit, a form of total consecration to Christ in the Church through the profession of the vows of chastity, obedience and poverty. The first official recognition dates back to February 2nd 1947. It was the Pope Pius XII who recognized and officially approved their form of living. The Canon Law, can. 710, has fixed their legal aspects: “the Secular Institute is an institute of consecrated life in which faithful people, living in the world, aim at the perfection of charity and engage themselves for the sanctification of the world, mainly acting inside it”.
The Secular Institutes are constituted by “faithful lay people and diocesan priests, called to live with Gospel radicalism precisely that secularity in which they are immersed by virtue of their state of life or pastoral ministry” (Benedict XVI).
The Pope himself points out their essential quality and stresses their special mission declaring: “your fervour is born from having discovered the beauty of Christ and of his unique way of loving, healing and meeting the needs of life and of enlivening and comforting it”.
The first inspiration and the first instant of life of the Secular Institute Iesus Victima dates back to Summer 1958. It has been conceived by the priest Nicola Giordano who, enlightened and supported by Dom Domenico Turco, abbot of the Trappist Abbey of the Tre Fontane, took inspiration from the Message addressed by the Pope Pius XII to the Cloistered Nuns in the world, into which he declared the existence of a special form of contemplative life in the world.
That was the inspiring idea the Secular Institute Iesus Victima, women’s branch, grew out of. The founder has chosen and proposed as a specific aim the mission of participating to the evangelizing function of the Church through the promotion of Christian culture in every field and sector of human living and in all the Countries of the World.
The Secular Institute Iesus Victima has always chosen a form of secular living lived following the Gospel-like humble and world- trusting lifestyle, adopting the method of spreading a message passing it “from brother to brother” to bring everyone to Christ.
The Institute has obtained the recognition as an Institute of Diocesan Law on 19 May 1991 and simultaneously with the International Symposium of 2007 the recognition by Pontifical Law.
It’s particularly spread in Italy and in many Countries of Central America and in Mexico.
In order to guarantee a successful apostolic evangelizing action all over the world, it has created the Movement of Spirituality “Vivere In”, approved by the Pontifical Council for the Laity on 8 December 2001, as an International Association of Pontifical Law.
The Movement of Spirituality “Vivere In” sticks to the same spirituality of the Insitute: a Trinitarian, Christocentric, Marian spirituality.
The Secular Institute Iesus Victima has also founded the Publishing House “Vivere In” to implement at best its apostolic action of cultural promotion in conformity with the doctrine of the Church.
The name “Vivere In” given to the Movement and the Publishing House is the synthesis of the leading idea of the whole evangelizing action connected with into the message by the Apostle Paul:
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rm 8, 29)
The choice of the name Ieusus Victima has been determined by the desire and the engagement to penetrate into the great mystery of Love, of God-Love, wholly fulfilling through the Incarnation of the Word and the Sacrifice of Jesus, the Word of God who became flesh.
Jesus made flesh is the only pattern to build ourselves on
Jesus who was slain is the only Saviour of manhood
Eucharist Jesus is the Bread of Life who can feed and satisfy manhood’s hunger
Jesus has accomplished the eternal and new covenant between God and man.
Here’s the special aspect and the specific identity of the Insitute Iesus Victima: a research for contemplative living to live totally into the world beyond the traditional characteristics regulating the classical contemplative life.
The whole world with all its variety of life and aspects is the huge monastery where everyone should live and act also being obedient to Jesus’ will when he told his disciples to go into all the world and proclaim his gospel.
Being contemplatives into the world means, for the Institute Iesus Victima, being able to look for and gaze at the face of God Love in every field of life. God Love is the maker of all things. God Love revealed himself in Jesus, his beloved Son, born from the Virgin Mary, Way, Truth and Life, Light and Salvation for the entire world, priest of the new covenant, victim of love for the entire world.
The contemplative dimension lived by the members of the Institute Iesus Victima makes them committed to:
– Devote themselves to the Lectio Divina through the loving study of the Word;
– Live the whole day trying to transform all their living into an eternal praise of love to God, mainly through an Eucharistic living and the practice of a liturgical living as a service of love consecrated to God and the brothers;
– Make their and the other’s living harmonious, conscious that “everything is beautiful, everything is good, everything is lovely”, whatever comes from God;
– Train the senses to the vision of God, looking for and perceiving, everywhere, the germs of divine life;
– Stick steadily to the commandment of total love towards every man, from the little to the big ones, because “whatever we’ve done to the most little of our brothers” we’ve done it to Jesus, the ever living among men.
The contemplative dimension is to be looked for and lived through a particular devotion to the Holy Spirit as “truly sweet guest” and “divine revealer of the divine mysteries”.
The Holy Mary is the true Mistress and model of contemplative life in everyday human life. Most delicate woman, meek to God’s will, sharing the total sacrifice of his Son, Mother of the Church.
The consecration in the Secular Institute Iesus Victima should always mean a free, conscientious and responsible choice to aim to the configuration and conformity to Jesus imitated in his deep mystery of “incarnation” into the world. The Word of the Father became man and placed his tent inside man. Every man should try to reach the dimension of con corporeity and kinship with Jesus.
The results of these basic theological premises are a greater consciousness and commitment to:
– Spread the message of life as gift of God and of man as image of his Son;
– Promote human progress in all its aspects paying special attention to cultural promotion in conformity with all the gospel’s message being a source of every wisdom and guarantee of civil progress.
The members of the Secular Institute Iesus Victima can lead their own life living on their own or in their families or in groups of brotherly life.
In every free- chosen form of life everyone has to devote himself particularly to build a society “that recognizes in the various environments the dignity of the person and the indispensable values for its total fulfilment: from politics to the economy, from education to the commitment to public health, from the management of services to scientific research” (Benedict XVI).
All the members of the Secular Institute Iesus Victima stick to the lifestyle taught by Jesus to be salt, light, yeast into the entire world, with a wide-open spirit towards all those forms of life where it is more and more necessary and urgent to fulfil the evangelizing mission.
La sede internazionale dell’Istituto Secolare Iesus Victima è a Roma.
Per informazione rivolgersi a:
Dott.ssa Maria Parato
00142 Roma – Via A. Solario, 91 – Tel 06 59640096 – Cell. 330879683
e-mail: [email protected]