The congregation of The Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus also known as the Dehonians is an apostolic religious institution (Constitution 1) formed in Saint-Quentin by Father Leo John Dehon in the year 1878. Who was at first a diocesan priest. After his priestly ordination at St. John Lateran in Rome, he was appointed as the seventh and the last vicar of the Basilica Parish at Saint Quentin.
This period of the 19th century was characterised by the industrialisation and because of this even children below 12 years were to work for at least 12 hours a day. The working conditions, the salary and the hours of work were deplorable; since the rich did not give attention to the poor. All they were interested on was their money even at the detriment of the poor. Vis-a-vis to such an economic mess and the injustice of the rich, the church at Saint-Quentin were very indifferent. That is, the men and women of the church were not in touch with the situation the people were living.
Moreover, in the midst of such a situation, Fr. Dehon a man of great personality, a man who had a great vision as to what concern the priesthood and the church could not be left indifferent to such. Therefore, in the face of such a mess, he foresee that the only remedy to this was the reign of Christ in the soul of people and in the society. To this was born the charism and the spirituality of the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The charism and the spirituality are the distinctive mark of every religious institution in a Christian religious cycle. That is, it distinguished one religious congregation from another in their way of following Christ and imitating him. But to what is the Dehonians charism and spirituality different from the others?