Rule of Life
Papal Decree of Approval of the Rule of Life
The Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a religious institute of Brothers whose general house is in Rome, live out their religious consecration in the footsteps of Christ through brotherhood lived in community. They participate in the mission of the Church as religious educators by announcing the Gospel message to children and youth, especially through their ministry in Christian schools.
“In conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II and with the norms for implementing them, the Brothers elaborated, at the General Chapter of 1982, a new text of constitutions which the Holy See approved March 19, 1984.
“The Institute’s General Chapter of 2000 and that of 2006 approved revisions to the Rule of Life out of a desire to integrate the teachings of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata of Pope John Paul II of March 25, 1996 and to adapt its structures of government to the needs of today.
“In the name of the General Chapter, the Superior General presented this text to the dicastery and requests its approbation.
“By this present Decree the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, after attentive examination, approves this revised text of the constitutions as found in the French language edition preserved in its archives.
“The Congregation earnestly hopes that through the faithful observance of this renewed Rule of Life, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart might live according to the example of their founder, Father Andre Coindre, and their first superiors general, in particular the Venerable Brother Polycarp, and in so doing continue to spread in the world the fire of redeeming love whose source is the Heart of Christ.”
Issued at the Vatican, February 7, 2007.
80th anniversary of the definitive approbation of the first
constitutions by the Apostolic See.
Preamble of the Rule of Life
To rescue young people from ignorance, to prepare them for life, and to give them a knowledge and love of religion, Father Andre Coindre, in 1821, founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
In the spirit of evangelism that marked the period, the founding of the Institute expressed a response to the needs of the time and place on behalf of neglected and de-christianized youth.
Father Coindre wanted the members of the Institute to be brothers living the values specific to the religious life and committing themselves in a stable way to the service of the Church and society.
Brother Borgia, Brother Xavier, and Brother Polycarp took care to preserve the heritage of the founder. The Rule of 1843 describes in a definite way the original grace of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. It expresses clearly the elements essential to the life of a religious educator.
By the apostolic decree of July 22, 1894, the Church acknowledged the action of the Holy Spirit in the founding and history of our Institute, which it has approved as a pontifical institute of simple vows. By the same action, the Church has confirmed the members of the Institute in their vocation and their mission.
The Spirit who inspired our founding and who has sustained us throughout our history remains constantly active in the Institute. The present Rule of Life strives to translate the spiritual and apostolic thrust of our first Brothers into language which speaks to us today.