A Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland
Catholic Voice Online Edition
Front Page In this Issue Around the Diocese Forum News in Brief Calendar Commentary
Mission Statement
Contact Us
Publication Dates
Back Issues

Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland

Movie Reviews

Mass Times

Catholic Voice
articles list
placeholder Bishop challenges schoolchildren
to put their words
into actions

Teaching in a
Year of Mercy

Chautauqua honors Mary, Untier of Knots

Support each other, seek help bishop advises law enforcement

CCHD grants
reach advocates
for people
on the margins

changes at
A Friendly Place

Oakland group
takes extraordinary
10-day pilgrimage

National Vocations Awarness Week

Three to be ordained
to transitional

Knights host
vocations dinner

New president at Dominican School

Sisters connect
with young people
in Mexico

Daughters of
Charity's house is
home to Pope Francis

A Carmelite

Sisters' congregation from Vietnam traces founding back to
17th century

Hayward Salesian missioner heads
to South Sudan


San Damiano retreat expands its gift shop

A sampling of upcoming retreats

Bible week
celebrates family

Benedictine nuns
make their home
on the range

TD Ameritrade
founder pours
energy, resources
into retreat center

loved ones

Cardinal speaking
at SCU

Holiday focus at Cathedral Shop

placeholder October 26, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA
National Vocations Awareness Week

There are eight Daughters of Charity presently at St. Martha's House.
Courtesy photo

Daughters of Charity's house is home to Pope Francis

Pope Francis has chosen to live with the Daughters of Charity at St. Martha House on the Vatican property. The virtues which the Daughters of Charity strive to live by are humility, simplicity and charity.

The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul have been at St. Martha House (Casa Santa Marta/Domus Sanctae Marthae) since 1884.

Pope Leo XIII requested that the Daughters of Charity come to care for the sick during the cholera epidemic. Since the epidemic never reached the city of Rome the Vatican Hospital remained empty.

In 1887, on his jubilee as a priest, Pope Leo XIII gave the hospital to be used as a place of hospitality for pilgrims of more modest incomes. The pilgrims at that time could stay for free. It was called "Santa Marta Hospice." I think its purpose is more clear if we refer to it as a free hostel. The Daughters of Charity do have another place outside the Vatican walls where pilgrims and others can rent a room and eat http://casamariaimmacolata.com/homepageeng.htm.

In modern times, St. Martha's House still received pilgrims for a low price. The Vatican also requested other services of the Daughters of Charity and the "house" was enlarged. Refugee ambassadors were received during World War II when they could not remain in Rome. The house has also welcomed Prelates working at the Secretariat of State, the Sisters have worked in the Vatican Dispensary (clinic), served in the dining rooms for the Vatican workers and the Vatican guard who have low incomes. There had also been a social service center attached to the house.

Sister Evelyne Franc, international superior, wrote: ""Let us ask ourselves if we evangelize by our lives and our service or if instead we serve those who are poor in a rush, like busy, agitated "Marthas," victims of activism that scatters and leads to a superficial life. We cannot forget that the driving force of service, its soul, is prayer life, the interior life."

Today St. Martha's House is no longer a place for pilgrims. It is used for hospitality for visiting bishops and cardinals (maybe some priests too on Vatican business) — and now the home of the Pope Francis!

back to topup arrow


Copyright © 2015 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.