The Community of Sant'Egidio began in Rome in 1968, in the period following the Second Vatican Council. Today, it is a movement of lay people and has more than 600,000 members dedicated to evangelization and charity in more than 73 countries throughout the world.
The Community of Sant'Egidio is a "Church public lay association." The different communities, spread throughout the world, share the same spirituality and principles which characterize the way of Sant'Egidio:
Prayer is an essential part of the life of the community in Rome and communities throughout the world. Prayer is central to the overall direction of community life.
Communicating the Gospel is the heart of the life of the community. It is offered to all those who seek and ask for a meaning for their life.
Solidarity with the poor is practiced through voluntary and gratuitous service, in the evangelical spirit of a Church that is the "Church for all and particularly the poor" (Pope John XXIII).
Ecumenism is lived as friendship, prayer, and search for unity among Christians of the whole world.
Dialogue was recommended by the Second Vatican Council as a way of peace and cooperation among religions. It is also a way of life and as a means of resolving conflicts.
The community has as its center at the Church of Sant'Egidio in Rome, from which the community takes its name. From its very beginnings, the community has maintained, in the area of Trastevere and in Rome, a continuous presence of prayer and welcome for pilgrims and the poor.