Dear members of the VMY throughout the world
May the grace and the peace of Jesus be with all of us!
It is with much joy and gratitude that I speak with you for the first time as Director General of the Vincentian Marian Youth Association. I want to express my profound gratitude and admiration to all of you who live with great enthusiasm, who love Mary, who serve those persons who are poor and who serve other young men and women … as such you give witness to the Father’s mercy.
Throughout these past 187 years after the time of Mary’s appearance to Saint Catherine Laboure, countless men and women have labored to make Mary’s love known to the poor and to proclaim the Good News in an effective manner to those men and women who are poor … and in doing so have responded to the invitation of Vincent de Paul.
As members of the Vincentian Family we have arrived at a special time of grace: the 400th anniversary of the origin of the Vincentian charism. The theme of this special time which should enlighten us all is: I was a stranger and you welcome me (Matthew 25:35). I want to encourage all the members of the VMY to give new life to the Vincentian charism. Therefore, I invite you to engage in a project and to do so at different levels: local, national and international. And of course, this should be done in collaboration with all the branches of the Vincentian family. I also invite you to encourage other young men and women to become part of this youth adventure.
Please continue to look for ways that will enable you to continue to share with others during “this special time of grace”, a time during which we have to plan and act together. I would hope that you, as young men and women who follow in the footsteps of Vincent de Paul, would become mystics of charity. How can a young man or women become a mystic of charity? Let me place before you some ways in which that can be done, but I am also sure that with your own creativity you will be able to add to list that I make here.
• Live out the characteristics marks of your Association: ecclesial, lay, Marian and Vincentian. Review the final document of the General Assembly to discover other elements.
• Every day read and reflect on a biblical text, especially some text from the New Testament.
• Love our Blessed Mother and consecrate yourselves to Christ through Mary as the fruit of your own formation in the faith, your serious discernment in the Spirit and your profound knowledge of the Association.
• Serve the poor, the marginalized, those excluded from participation in society, refugees, the homeless, the elderly and all those brothers and sisters who are suffering.
• Mystics are not simply those people who have had some extraordinary religious experience. Vincent was totally different because his experience of God was rooted in daily service and commitment to the poor.
I pray that each one of you might continue to give the best of yourselves and might become mystics in the service of others. Continue to collaborate with the other branches of the Vincentian Family and know that you can rely on my daily prayers for you, and I ask that you, please pray for me.
Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, CM
Superior General and
Director General of VMY