Day of the foundation of Congregation

Pages of history » 28 June 2024

First profession of Fr. Dehon. The day of the foundation of our Congregation (June 28, 1878).

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On June 28, 1878, Leo Dehon made his religious profession. It was the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the day of the foundation of our Congregation. Only a few close friends were present. His was an act of faith which might have seemed like a dream with no future. Instead it marked the birth and the beginning of a long posterity, what he called the Work of the Sacred Heart. In that rich experience of faith, our Congregation finds its origin and its identity. Fr. Dehon recalled this strong conviction of faith in his Spiritual Testament: “I leave you the most wonderful treasure: the Heart of Jesus. He belongs to everyone, but has particular tenderness for … those who are consecrated to him and are entirely dedicated to worship, love and reparation as he asked. However, they must be faithful to this beautiful vocation ”(LC 407). This vocation, this charism that Fr. Dehon left as an inheritance is not something to be kept hidden. It is a living treasure. It is a love that is renewed every day. From this charism entire generations of confreres have lived, finding in it the inspiration and strength for a spiritual and apostolic life, spent entirely for God, for the Church, for the mission, and for “the reign of the Heart of Jesus in souls and society”.

(BRESSANELLI, V. An updated reinterpretation of our charism, Dehoniana 1994/2, 15-22)


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