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A Latin word signifying the universal bond of love which exists commonly between all human beings. The origin of the word charity.

Catholic relief organizations throughout the world that are collectively known as Caritas Internationalis.  They take their name from the latin word for charity, and regionally they also take other names such as Archdiocesan Caritas.

Their main mission is distribution of goods among those in need as well as spread solidarity and social justice throughout the world drawing their inspiration from the Christian Scriptures.

The movement started in Freiburg, Germany in 1897 and soon spawned similar organizations in Switzerland and the United States.  In 1950, under Pope Paul VI the Caritas organizations became united.

They are headquartered in the Vatican and are divided in 154 organizations in 198 countries.

Source: The Caritas Internationalis Web Site. http://www.caritas.org

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