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Handmaids of Merciful Love

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EAM for the temporal activities

They were founded on 11 February 1957, in Fermo, on the same day the first Handmaids made their first religious profession.

They are called to incorporate themselves into society and to bring the Merciful Love through their Christian lifestyle: “without any visible sign of consecration” and in the midst of the mission which is preferentially that of “temporal structures and activities, by animating them in a Christian way, from the inside, with their evangelical life.

The insertion into the temporal is, apparently, on a personal basis, like the insertion of any layperson or member of a secular institute. They always receive their mission from the Congregation, although this remains implicit; on the contrary, the relationship with the temporal reality appears individual and direct.

Like all the men and women religious, they must live in community, and this helps them in their personal sanctification and perseverance, precisely as the Mother Foundress always asserted.

The model for these Handmaids is the hidden life of Jesus in Nazareth, those years during which he lived in the midst of the people like one of them, working among them and with them, without revealing his personal identity, but letting an extraordinary presence of grace show through. They are inspired by the life of Mary, who kept in her heart the secret of the divine election; yet, whoever dealt with her clearly perceived God’s existence and goodness.

Their ideal consists in making themselves God’s presence of grace and transparency to shine forth in the places they frequent, like a Gospel, which even without words, “speak with life.”

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