Secular Institutes are a form of consecrated life recognized on 2 February 1947 in the Church. These are associations of people who live ordinary life – engaged in all activities compatible with the Christian life whatever they are – and who strive to live these activities according to God so that the world may grow and develop as God has thought it. The words of Paul VI are precious in this regard, who lucidly grasped and made explicit the novelty of this form of Christian life.

“You are at a mysterious confluence between the two powerful currents of the Christian life, welcoming riches from both. You are lay people, consecrated as such by the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, but you have chosen to accentuate your consecration to God with the profession of the evangelical counsels, taken as obligations with a stable and recognized bond. Remain lay, committed to the secular values ​​proper and peculiar to the laity (Lumen Gentium, 31), but yours is a “consecrated secularity”

(PAUL VI, Address to the Executives and Members of the Secular Institutes in the XXV of the “Provida Mater”, AAS 64 , 1972, p. 208).

«Provida Mater», AAS 64, 1972, p. 208), voi siete «consacrati secolari».”

1 – Provida Mater Ecclesia (2.2.1947)
2 – Primo feliciter (12.3.1948)
3 – Cum sanctissimus (19.3.1948)

4 – Vatican Council II

a) Perfectae caritatis, 11
b) Ad gentes, 40

From the Code of Canon Law:

1 – The institutes of consecrated life: can. 573-606
2 – The Secular Institutes  (SI): can. 710-730

 Congregation for  Religious and SI (CRIS):

1 – Married people and secular institutes  (10.5.1976)
2 – Formation in the Secular Institutes (6.4.1980)
3 – I.S. and Evangelical Counsels (15.5.1981)
4 – Message to the S.I. of the Plenary Assembly (6.5.1983)
5 – The SI.: their identity and their mission (document for the Plenary Assembly of the 3-6.5.1983)
6 – Letter to the Episcopal Conferences of the Plenary Assembly (6.1.1984)
7 – To the General Moderators of the S.I. about Code (18.1.1984)
8 – Letter to the General Moderators of the S.I.(2.1.1988)

 Congregation  for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA) 

1 – First Steps (19.3.1998)

Card. Ildebrando Antoniutti:

1 – Prolusion to the first International Congress of the  (20.9.1970) –

Card. Eduardo Pironio:

1 – Introduction to the Assembly of General Managers of the S.I.  (23.8.1976)
2 – Message to the Latin American II Congress of the S.I. (12.7.1979)
3 – Prolusion to the II World Congress  of the S.I.(25.8.1980)

Card. Jean Jérôme Hamer:

1 – Prolusion to the III International Congress of the S.I. (27.8.1984)
2 – The conclusions of the Synod and its consequences for the S.I.  (24.8.1988)

Card. Eduardo Martínez Somalo:

1 – Opening address to the Symposium on the 50th anniversary of the “Provida Mater Ecclesia”  (31.1.1997)
2 – Third General Conference of the Latin American Bishops (Puebla, 1979)

Italian Episcopal Conference

1. The Secular Institutes. Information Document (may 1984)

All Documents can be viewed on the site in “Documents”.

Paul VI:

1 – Apostolic effectiveness dipends of personal sanctification  (First international Conference of  the SI, 26.9.1970)
2 – A presence and a transforming action within the World ( 25° anniversary of Provida Mater Ecclesia, 2.2.1972)
3 – A new and original form of consecration  (ai Responsabili generali degli IS, 20.9.1972)
4 – A living presence at the service of the world and of the Church  (25.8.1976)
5 – On the 30th anniversary of the Provida Mater Ecclesia (2.2.1977)

John Paul  II:

1 – Change the world from within  (at the II International Congress of the IS, 28.8.80)
2 – The secular Institutes, faithful expression of the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council (to the CRIS Plenary Assembly CRIS, 6.5. 1983)
3 –Animate temporal realities with the spirit of the Gospel (at the III international  Congressof the SI, 28.8.1984)
4 – Extend the work of the Redemption in the world along the evangelical way of the Cross (at the IV World Congress of the SI, 26.8.1988)
5 – Creators of Christian culture and solidarity  (At the  V World Congress of the SI, 24.7.92)
6 – Brave and consistent witnesses of true holiness  (At the symposium for the 50th anniversary of the Provida Mater Ecclesia, 1.2.1997)

7 – Adress of the Holy Father John Paul IIto the participants in the General Assembly of the Secular Institute “Spigolatrici della Chiesa” (Venerdì, 2 gennaio 1998)

8 – “Christifideles laici”, 56 (30.12.1988)

9 – “Vita consecrata”: 10, 50, 52, 53,54,56,78,97,99 (25.3.1996)

Benedict XVI:

Benedict XVI to the World Conference of the Secular Institutes (3 febbraio 2007)


1 – Audience with participants in the meeting promoted by CIIS (10 may 2014)

2 – Message to CIIS participants  (23 October 2017)