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Christian Life Community

Rooted in the 16th Century

VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the description of the Christian Life Community, which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

* * *

Official Name: Christian Life Community

Acronym: CVX

Established: 1952

History: The origins of CVX date back to the Marian congregations created in 1563 by the Jesuit priest Jean Leunis and a group of students from the Roman College who wished to follow in the foot steps of the lay groups that had developed since 1540 in different parts of the world thanks to the work of St. Ignatius Loyola and his companions.

In 1584, Pope Gregory XIII approved the first congregation in his bull "Omnipotentis Dei," and in 1587 Pope Sixtus V issued his bull "Superna Dispositione" authorizing the institution of other congregations affiliated to the original one and open to everyone.

The serious crisis which the Society of Jesus suffered in the 18th century, leading in 1773 to its suppression by Pope Clement XIV, weakened the congregations which became a mass movement that was quite different from what the founder had originally intended.

It was not until 1948, following the publication of the apostolic constitution "Bis Saeculari" in which Pope Pius XII laid down guidelines for the lay apostolate, that the need was felt to renew the Marian congregations -- or sodalities as they are called in some countries -- and to group them together into an international federation.

In 1952 the World Federation of the Marian Congregations was established, and after changing its name to the World Federation of the Christian Life Communities it was recognized by the Holy See in 1971 as a Catholic international organization. Its present name dates back to 1979. CVX is a member of the Conference of ICOs and as a nongovernmental organization it has consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council and UNICEF. On Dec. 3, 1990, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed the Christian Life Community to be an international association of the faithful of pontifical right.

Identity: CVX is made up of Christians -- men and women, young people and adults of every social condition -- who wish to follow Jesus Christ and cooperate in building up the Kingdom, bearing witness to their faith in every area of life, committed to taking the teachings of the Church into the heart of human culture to build up a more just and more fraternal society.

Membership to CVX comes as a response to a personal vocation, and is preceded by a period of formation and temporary commitment. Its educational method, centered on Christ and participation in the paschal mystery, is based on Scripture, the liturgy, study of the magisterium of the Church, reading the will of God in the events of history and in the signs of the times.

The source and the instrument of CVX spirituality are the Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. A central position is given to Our Lady in the life of the community, for her cooperation in the work of redemption is the supreme model for the members on which to base their own cooperation with Christ's mission.

Organization: CVX is governed by the General Assembly, made up of the Executive Council and the delegates of the national communities. The Executive Council, which is responsible for implementing the decisions and policies adopted by the General Assembly, comprises the president, the vice president, the secretary, the treasurer, ecclesiastical assistant, the deputy ecclesiastical assistant and three council members.

Similar management bodies exist at the national level. Other associations of people wishing to share its lifestyle, without being full members, may also be affiliated with the CVX.

Membership: CVX has about 123,000 members in 52 countries, in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

Works: CVX, whose members take part in the activities promoted worldwide by the Society of Jesus, manages schools in Chile and Hong Kong, spiritual retreat houses in France and various kinds of institutions in the Philippines and in Chile.

Publications: Progressio, a biannual magazine; Projects, a quarterly newsletter

Web site:


Comunitŕ di Vita Cristiana
C.P. 6139
Borgo Santo Spirito, 8
00193 Roma -- Italy

Tel. (39) 06-68-68079 -- Fax 06-681-32497


© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]


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