Centennial of the Province of Slovenia of the Daughters of Charity

[Province of Slovenia] Short look at the history of the Province

God thought of it for you! (St Vincent) God thought of the cries of those who are poor even in the little country of Slovenia. It was He, in the 19th Century, who called the young Countess  Léopoldine Josépha Brandis in Graz, Austria, to serve as a Daughter of Charity. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, she brought the Sisters in 1952 to Ljubljana and, later, to Croatia. With numerous candidates, the Province could expand its works for the good of all kinds of poor persons.  In addition, to watch over the sick during the night, she founded a new Community, that of the Daughters of the Sick, today known as the Congregation of the Sisters of Mary of the Miraculous Medal.

On 5 April 1010, after the first world war, the Province of Yugoslavia was founded. Despite great difficulties, the number of Sisters increased, as did the Province. In 1920 the Sisters were asked for in Belgrade by Serbian doctors. In several years, others followed, also going to Kosovo and Macedonia. With their selfless work, they are written in history as those who built bridges between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

At the end of the second world war, the Province numbered more than 1200 Sisters.  Between 1945 and 1949 the new Communist regime in Slovenia wanted to prevent all Religious from working in hospitals and educational institutions. Little by little the Daughters of Charity sent back, beginning with those in education. On 8 March 1948, the last Sisters (around 300) were dismissed from their institutions and houses.

About fifty Sisters were imprisoned for false accusations. Many went to Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia where Providence had prepared for them some work and shelter. There the regime was less rigid. In the following years, the Sisters in Slovenia regrouped into little Communities. The Provincial House, as well as the Seminary, was transferred to Belgrade. Candidates came as well from Croatia, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

The events of 1991 brought about new changes in the Province, and most of the Sisters, as well as the Provincial House with the Seminary, returned to Slovenia. The political and social change in Albania attracted the Daughters of Charity in 1992 to this hard-hit country. Thus, on April 4, 2000, within the Province of Slovenia, the Region of Albania, including Kosovo and Albania was established.

One Hundredth Celebration

The centennial of the Province was 5 April 2019, but the solemn celebration was the 27th of April in Celje, in St. Joseph House and Church run by the Congregation of the Mission. The celebration gathered the Daughters of Charity of the Province and the Region, the Vincentian priests, members of the Vincentian Family and our friends. The solemnity began with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by the welcome of new Affiliates of the Daughters of Charity.

The story of the life of the Province was told. The Superior General summarized the richness of the years of the Province and urged us towards the future, “The future is before us. Jesus remains as our first and only love. All is for Him. The Blessed Virgin will show you the paths to the poorest, to the people on the periphery.”

The Mass of Thanksgiving was in the afternoon, presided by Cardinal Franc Rode, in the presence of the Superior General, Father Tomaž Mavrič, the Bishops and Archbishops, Vincentian priests and other priests who collaborate with the Daughters of Charity. This was the highlight of the day, a moment of grace for the Province in celebrating its 100 years of existence.

Daughters of Charity
Province of Slovenia

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