The IVE is a Catholic institute of consecrated life which is both a clerical and religious institute. Its members are priests, seminarians and consecrated brothers. Since it is a clerical institute, it is directed by priests that exercise the Sacred Orders. The majority of our members consist of priests or people studying for the priesthood.
Like all institutes of consecrated life, we have a universal and common end by which we want to follow Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit. We want to dedicate totally to God as our supreme Love, so that, dedicated by a new and special title to his glory, for the edification of the Church and the salvation of the world; we may achieve the perfection of charity.
We want to imitate Jesus Christ as perfectly as possible. Therefore, to imitate the Incarnate Word more closely we take vows of chastity, prefiguring the state of man in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 19:12); poverty, as the Gospel invites "sell what you have" (Mk 10:21); and obedience which is better than sacrifice (1 Sm 15:22). All this in imitation of the chastity, poverty, and obedience of the Incarnate Word. These are the three evangelical counsels through which the religious strives to reach the state of Christian perfection. In addition, we profess a fourth vow of marian slavery, all according to the spirit of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. By means of this vow, the members consecrate their whole lives to the Blessed Virgin Mary so as to “Marianize” their lives, doing everything “through Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary.”
The members of the IVE live a fraternal life in common. The separation from the world and worldly spirit is important for the religious life. We want to form virtuous men (“virtuous” in the latin sense of vir and vis: the strength of the man) according to the doctrine of great teachers of spiritual life, especially Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Jesus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and according to the examples of all the saints of all times that the Church proposes as models of virtue for us to imitate.
The intellectual formation of the IVE members consists of philosophical and theological studies. We give preference to the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas, because we have to be formed “under his magisterium", along wih the best thomist philosophers, like Fr. Cornelio Fabro. click here to know more about our formation.
In imitating “Christ proclaiming the Kingdom of God,” we are dedicated to the apostolic work as priests, through the exercise of Sacred Orders. Those members who have discerned their vocation to the contemplative life, either monastic or eremitic, move to one of our monasteries for a life of monastic prayer, penance and contemplation.
The IVE takes its name from “the first and fundamental mystery of Jesus Christ” (St John Paul II), that is the Incarnation. The Word of God assumed a human nature and came into the world as a man in order to save us. We desire to be as another Incarnation of the Word, to make present the incarnation of Christ in all humanity, “to restore all things in Christ” as Saint Paul said (Eph, 1-10). We reach this by the evangelization of culture, the elevation of culture by means of the principles of the Gospel. This is what we mean with “to make present the incarnation of Christ to all men, in the whole man, and in all of the manifestations of man”. We want to assume, as Christ did, all that is authentically human and offer it, purified, to Christ. We will not assume, therefore, any form of sin or lie. (for more information about our Spirituality, click here).
Since the Word became man without ceasing to be God, we must learn how to be in the world “without being of the world.” We must go into the world in order to convert it and not to imitate it; to enter cultures not to convert ourselves to these cultures, but to heal them and to elevate them with the strength of the Gospel, doing as Christ did: “The Son took away the devil’s nature, assumed human nature, and conferred the divine nature.”
We work in the key areas of culture to spread the message of the Gospel: in families, in education, in the mass media, in the schools, with the youth and in all other legitimate manifestations of human life. We live an intense spiritual life that gets its strength from the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist and the devotion to the Mother of God. We try to overcome ourselves and our disordered passions through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola; we preach the Gospel to the people of God with the Popular Missions (Missionary activity) and do many other apostolates. (see more about our work, click here).
The symbol of the IVE
- The sword: They will have in their mouth the two edged-sword of the Word of God (Treatise of the True Devotion to Mary).
- The red Cross: Christ’s blood shed for our redemption.
- The white background: Purity
- The Crown: the kingship of Christ.
- The three flames: the three evangelical counsels (vows of poverty, chastity and obedience).
- The Lily flower (fleur-de-lis): our fourth vow of consecration to the Holy Virgin Mary in maternal Slavery of love.
- The letters V, C, F, E: they mean Verbum Caro Factum Est (the Word made flesh), since we are the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word. These words refer to the Gospel of Saint John, in which he describes the event of the Incarnation.
- The rosary: our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and our desire for her maternal protection and her presence in our lives and in our apostolic work.