History of the Servants of Charity
On March 24, 1908 St. Guanella (1842-1915), with a group of disciples, in the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Como, Italy, professed the perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. As founder, he was the leader of a newly formed congregation: the Servants of Charity. (continued below)
Since 1878 Fr. Guanella, following the example of Benedict Cottolengo and John Bosco, had attempted to gather a group of youngsters in a boarding school to prepare them for religious life. However, he was forced to close his first school in Traona, Sondrio, Italy because of the Masonic civil authorities.
Again in 1888, in Como, Italy, Fr. Guanella cared for another group of boys with the intent of preparing them for religious life and priesthood. The first priest, Peter Moroni, was ordained by Cardinal Ferrari of Milan, on December 22, 1894. On June 9, 1895 John Calvi was ordained a priest as well. Silvio Vannoni and Joseph Roncoroni were ordained on May 30, 1896.
At that time, the members of the Institute professed private vows. They called themselves the Sons of the Sacred Heart, but because of a conflict with another Congregation by the same name, they changed to the Servants of Charity.
From these small beginnings the Congregation grew and spread to the four continents: Europe, America, Asia and Africa. Today, the Servants of Charity around the world have more than 500 confreres, priests and brothers and they serve the poor of every nationality.