2021-02-19 GENERAL HOUSE

February 20 – World Day of Social Justice

Every year since 2007, on February 20, the “World Day of Social Justice” is remembered. This year, possibly with even more reason, all Marists are called to remember this day, in our homes and communities, in our schools and social work, in the midst of civil society, governments and institutions.

When we speak of social justice we are speaking of respect, of equal rights for every human being. This implies the realization of access to basic goods and services that help the full development of each person within the society in which he or she lives. Education, health, welfare, human rights… Thus, an active defence of social justice implies working for the common good of the society in which each of us Marists live. It means starting from fundamental human rights, lived and developed individually and also as a society as a whole.

In an increasingly globalized world, our role as individuals and as an Institution has greater relevance. My concrete actions, my commitments to my specific reality, are supported by the efforts of other individuals, organizations and institutions. Therefore, we are called to “build bridges” that bring us closer, that allow us to go out to meet the other person, that help us to understand and appreciate the difference.

The Catholic Church, already back in the 19th century, raised its voice in favour of the welfare of all, according to the historical situation and in accordance with the different cultures and situations. Several ecclesial documents have marked the Church’s thinking in this regard, from Rerum Novarum in 1891 to the present day with Fratelli Tutti. We find ourselves within the Social Doctrine of the Church. Pope John Paul II reminds us, in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (47), that “social justice can only be achieved by respecting the transcendent dignity of man. But this is neither the only nor the main motive. What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defence and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator… at every juncture of history.”

In Pope Francis’ latest encyclical there are numerous references to “social justice”, based on an inclusive vision, the fruit of “inalienable human dignity… from a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation at the service of a future shaped by interdependence and co-responsibility among the whole human family” (127). All human beings are called to them, particularly those of us who are followers of Christ, with a Marist style that marks our way of practising these values.

A social justice that involves labour relationship, that includes access to education and health, that seeks a fair distribution of economic resources, that is in full harmony with Human Rights, and that is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set to be achieved by 2030.

Church and society “cry out” for greater Social Justice at all levels. Equality of rights, of gender, of races, of religious beliefs, of culture… Are we Marists not also going to give the best of ourselves and of our Institution to join in this universal clamour?

Br. Ángel Diego – Director of the Secretariat of Solidarity


New volunteers in the Marist international yo...


Fratelli Project Manos Unidas, together to fi...