The founding of Caritas Christi was by two unique persons: a lay woman, Juliette Molland (1902-1979), and a Dominican, Father Joseph-Marie Perrin (1905-2002).
Juliette Molland was born in Noves, France, where she lived her whole life. She had a strong and generous personality, blessed with a lively intelligence. She worked in a family enterprise and served her village and her parish.
After a long journey of spiritual research, Juliette perceived, very clearly, a call to live totally for God, but without leaving the world, and she asked herself if this were truly possible.
In 1936 she met Father Joseph-Marie Perrin O.P., and she made him part of the research and of the doubts. They became aware that God was asking them to found what Juliette called “a lay order”. And together, little by little, they defined the characteristics of such a vocation.
On June 16, 1939, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, in the presence of the Bishop of Marseille, nine women committed themselves, definitively, to “ The Missionary Union of the Little Sisters of Saint Catherine”, which would be later called “The Union of Caritas Christi”, and finally “Caritas Christi, Secular Institute”.
Father Joseph-Marie Perrin, co-founder, brought his support and his priestly presence to Caritas Christi for many, many years. Untiringly and with great strength, he announced, in his ministry, “the infinite Love of God for all people” and “the Call of all Christians to holiness!”.
The Institute developed rapidly in five continents. It is currently present in fourteen countries, and among the members is found a great variety of cultures and conditions of life.
Yet, beyond the diversity in their lives, all members feel a profound unity, created by the bond of their common vocation in Caritas Christi: to be present and to be integrated in all realities/ circumstances of life, and “ to abide in the love of God, loving Him and making Him loved wherever He has placed us.” (cf. Article 1 of “Life and Spirit”).