The Institute of the Incarnate Word was the first branch of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word to be founded by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela in 1984. The Institute which draws its spirituality from the mystery of the Incarnation, was founded on none other than the Solemnity of the Annunication, March 25th, 1984 in San Rafael, Argentina. A few years later Fr. Buela would also found a female branch (Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, SSVM), and a secular Third Order.
Our founder wanted our Institute to be named “of the Incarnate Word”, in order to honor the greatest event of history, an event which cannot be surpassed by any other: the Incarnation of the Son of God.
By means of the profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we want to imitate and follow more closely the Incarnate Word in his chastity, poverty and obedience. In addition, we profess a fourth vow of Marian slavery, according to the spirit of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. By means of this vow, we consecrate our whole lives to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We, the religious of the Incarnate Word, want to be anchored in the mystery of the Incarnation which, as St. John Paul II has said, “is the first and fundamental mystery of Jesus Christ.” From this mystery, we want to undertake “to reestablish all things in Christ” (Eph 1:10), seeking to be as another Incarnation of the Word in order to make Him incarnate in all that is human. We are aware that, as St. Irenaeus teaches, “that which is not assumed is not redeemed”. Thus, nothing that is authentically human is foreign to us, because the life of grace that Jesus Christ came to bring to the world must be brought to everything and everyone.
This gives rise to our specific and singular end which is the evangelization of the culture, that is, to work “through the power of the Gospel, to transform: mankind’s criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration, and models of life” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 19). Therefore, the charism of the Institute of the Incarnate Word is the grace to know how to work concretely so as to extend the presence of Christ in families, education, the mass media, the scholarly, and in all other legitimate manifestations of human life.
In order to be able to help the Christians of the Eastern Churches (Coptic and Byzantine rites) who form part of the indivisible patrimony of the Universal Church, we also have an eastern branch. Thus, we breathe with two lungs, just as the Church does. “One cannot breathe as a Christian, even less, as a Catholic, with only one lung; there must be two lungs, that is to say, the Eastern and the Western” (St. John Paul II, June 8, 1980).
The Secular Third Order or the lay order of the family of the Incarnate Word is an association of lay faithful who, living in the world, participate in the spirit of the religious family, in order to seek Christian perfection, in a more secure and efficacious way, in the wide sphere of the lay vocation and in order to carry into effect the sanctification of all men by means of the works of the apostolate.
For this purpose they want to, and commit themselves to, forming one family with the religious of the Incarnate Word, united by the same faith, the same ends, the same mission, the same charism, and the same spirit, thus constituting themselves as the “salt of the earth and the light of the world” (Mt 5, 13-14) in their proper surroundings.