International Confederation of the Volunteers of Suffering Centers



Confederazione Internazionale dei Centri Volontari della Sofferenza 



International Confederation CVS









The Silent Workers of the Cross received from their Founder, Blessed Luigi Novarese, the mandate to develop and support a broader lay movement called "Volunteers of Suffering". This mission was expressly recognised and applauded in the apostolic brief Valde Probandae of 24 November 1960. Here Pope John XXIII noted with satisfaction that "the vivid and luminous strength" of the Silent Workers “has been animating and encouraging, for thirteen years now, other zealous associations, such as the 'Volunteers of Suffering', the sick who voluntarily offer their suffering to Our Blessed Lady”. This responsibility was once again confirmed by the Holy See at the beginning of the third millennium with the approval of the new statutes of the Silent Workers. It states that they “foster the creation and development of associations of diocesan right, called the Centre for Volunteers of Suffering, which bring together all those who wish to share the spirituality of the Silent Workers of the Cross and contribute actively to the pursuit of their apostolic aims" (art. 3).
While the Silent Workers constitute a single consociatio, recognised in 2001 by the Pontifical Council for the Laity as an association of the faithful, the Centre for Volunteers of Suffering establishes associations that are approved by the respective diocesan bishops. The growth and spread of these associations gave rise to the need to manifest on an institutional level the profound unity of spirit that unites the Silent Workers with the Centre for Volunteers of Suffering, and the Centres among themselves. This would bring about true adherence to their common charism and greater effectiveness in apostolic action. To this end, the Silent Workers, in response to requests from various diocesan associations connected with the Centre for Volunteers of Suffering, established a new consociatio, the “International CVS. International Confederation for the Apostolate of the Suffering”. Its purpose is to bring together the associations of the faithful committed to this apostolate according to the spirituality of Blessed Luigi Novarese.  Thus, on 21 January 2004, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the International Confederation of Centres for Volunteers of Suffering as an international association of the faithful.



International Confederation CVS is a confederation of associations of the faithful devoted to the apostolate of those who suffer. Its purpose is to promote, foster and practise the charismatic insight of Mgr Novarese, who saw suffering to be a sharing in Christ’s Paschal Mystery where the one who suffers is an apostle and hence a prophetic witness to the value of all forms of suffering in human life. All of this is in a spirit of wholehearted response to the request for prayer and repentance specific to the spirituality of our Lady of Lourdes and of Fatima, which the Confederation considers to be the places of their spiritual foundation.



International Confederation CVS is governed by the General Assembly which represents the participation of all the member associations and their common apostolic project; the Bureau, which is responsible for coordinating the work of the Centres, headed by the Official responsible for the Apostolate of the Silent Workers of the Cross.



In the pursuit of its purposes, International Confederation CVS systematically coordinates and promotes its member associations by running educational schemes and other activities to increase and spread individual associations and the Confederation itself; it publishes aids and other materials, promotes retreat days, courses and study conferences, meetings and pilgrimages, and organises training courses to qualify trainees to undertake rehabilitation, social-cultural, sports and recreational activities.



L’Ancora, a monthly information and educational journal; L’Ancora nell’unità di salute, a two-monthly scientific research and discussion journal.





Confederazione Internazionale dei Centri Volontari della Sofferenza 

Via Monte del Gallo, 105/111 - 00165 Roma - Italy

Tel. [+39]06 39674243 - Fax 06 39637828