The Caritas Mission

Charitable activities rank among the essential purposes of the Church from its very beginnings. Our mission is universal, and therefore we seek to perform our activities for all people. Our fundamentals are derived from Christ's example and from our own tradition. The most significant appeal in this respect may be found in the New Testament in chapter 25 of the Gospel according to Matthew, verses 35-36:

For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you made me welcome,
lacking clothes and you clothed me,
sick and you visited me,
in prison and you came to see me.
(Mt 25, 35-36)

Other parables on which Caritas is based may be found in the New Testament.

  • the patron saint of Caritas is St. Vincent DePaul, on whose feast day the annual Day of Caritas is held.

One can read about how we should love our neighbour in the parable of the Good Samaritan, who helped one in need even though he came from an unfriendly nation (Lk 10, 25-37). This story can b understood as an outline for charitable activity – find a person in need, help him, and contribute to the payment of his care.

From the very beginning Christians have followed Christ's example and helped those who are suffering, above all the poor and needy. This help is called charity, which comes from the Latin caritas, meaning merciful love, and which is included among the practices of a Christian life. In his epistle, St. James writes:

… In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead. (James 2:17).

For this reason Caritas helps all who need help, regardless of the colour of their skin, their nationality, or their religion. We help the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the old, the physically, mentally, psychologically and medically disabled, the homeless, migrants and refugees, mothers in need, abused and neglected children, the chemically dependent, alcoholics, prostitutes, prisoners, oppressed minorities, people affected by natural disasters or war, and all who finds themselves in crisis of any kind. At the same time the fundamental principle, the method of our work, is to seek out any crisis and strive for a solution to eliminate it, all accompanied with human dignity and God's love. It is a difficult yet wondrous mission!

  • Today Caritas Czech Republic helps neighbours in need both at home and abroad.