Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) came into being in 1947 when a young Norbertine priest, Father Werenfried van Straaten – whose name means ‘Warrior for Peace’ – responded to an appeal for reconciliation made by Pope Pius XII in the early years after World War II.
In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI elevated the international organisation, of which the Maltese office is a part, to the status of Pontifical Foundation.
To commemorate the International Day of Charity tomorrow 5th September, ACN in Malta National Director, Stephen Axisa spoke to Newsbook.com.mt about how the ACN supports members of the clergy working in around 140 countries where Christians are persecuted or suffering – strengthening the Church through prayer, information and action.
“While we are enjoying ourselves in our country and in our homes… (there are) people who haven’t got anything, the basics, for instance a glass of water, or a place where to shelter,” Mr Axisa said, “We are duty-bound, as Christians, to support our brethren in any way we can.”
The 5th September is designated as the International Day of Charity by the United Nations. It was established with the objective of sensitising and mobilising people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.