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History of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate
(Pallottine Sisters) and German Province
January 9th, 1835: Vincent Pallotti, while celebrating the Eucharist, had a vision in which he clearly understood that he was called by God to dedicate his life to the service of the Church in the “Universal Apostolate”.
He recorded this experience in his journal, writing:
The service to which I am called will:
1) help to spread the Christian faith throughout the whole world
2) rekindle and deepen Christian faith among all Catholics
3) be expressed through works motivated by Christian love, works which will enable all human beings to recognise the face of the God of love in each and every other human being.
His vision embraced “men and women of every social class, every age, every level of understanding and education”, laity, religious and priests, without exception. It is a vision of unity within universality, the vision of the one Shepherd and the one Flock, a vision of universal peace, a vision of universal cooperation between all people of good will.
On April 4th, 1835, the foundation of the “Union of the Catholic Apostolate” received the formal approval of the Church authority.
In 1838, a group of women, inspired by the ideals of Vincent Pallotti, joined together in Rome, in the Pia Casa di Carita, in Borgo Sant Agata dei Goti, no.8. A cholera epidemic was raging, and there were many young girls ranging the streets of Rome, sent out by their parents to beg for help, asking alms or offering themselves as prostitutes. The group in the Pia Casa offered these girls shelter and care. Some time later, this community was formally named “Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate”, though known to the people around as “Pallottine Sisters”. They experienced the pain as well as the joy of every new foundation, and as time passed, the blessing spoken by Pallotti over the work of the Catholic Apostolate, bore much fruit: “This Society will be blessed by God!”