Antonio Rosmini went to Monte Calvario, Domodossola, at the beginning of Lent 1828 , and during his time of solitude he wrote the first draft of the Constitutions of the Institute of Charity. At that time also he wrote the Maxims of Christian Perfection which forms the basis of his ascetical writing.



The Institute takes its name from charity and consists of faithful Christians who wish to fulfil as perfectly as possible the Lord's own precept to love God above all things and their neighbour as themselves. Many founders of Religious Orders have special inspirations and their Congregations are founded to meet special needs. Rosmini had no such inspiration

Charity towards God and neighbour demands that members of the Institute seek to become more holy: or in Rosmini's term, more "just". For this the grace of Jesus Christ is necessary.

The Institute relies solely on the Providence of God and not on human means in its service of the Church. The Church is Christ's instrument of all good. The Institute is the handmaid of the Church and its actions must never conflict with it. Its existence is not necessary for the Church.

The preferred state of members of the Institute is one of prayer and contemplation. Only when the Lord calls through providential signs will the Institute embark on works of charity. Such signs are the manifest needs of others and the will of the Church expressed through bishops and especially through the Pope. Then the Institute must respond if it has the appropriate personnel and resources


Rosmini envisaged the Institute as being of great service to the Church. The scope of its charity is universal. No work of charity, corporal, intellectual or pastoral, is excluded. In general terms the Institute is ready for anything, but once the nature of the work is made manifest it concentrates on equipping its members for that particular work.