The Vow of Nonviolence has been taken by tens of thousands since it was composed by Eileen Egan and Rev. John Dear for Pax Christi USA in the 1980s. Now available in prayer card format, the Vow can be pronounced privately, with a local peace community, as part of a parish liturgy, or any other way that suits you. The card is excellent for distributing during the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action each year (Sept. 21-Oct. 2) and for the World Day of Peace (Jan. 1) and International Day for Nonviolence (Oct. 2). Beautifully rendered, the card is a perfect way to introduce someone to the idea, proclamation and practice of nonviolence. 

This card is 3.5″ x 5.5″, with action suggestions; shrink-wrapped in packages of 100.

>> Click here for more information or to order your Vow cards.

The Vow reads: 

RECOGNIZING THE VIOLENCE IN MY OWN HEART, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God…You have learned how it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy’; but I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven.”

I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus:

  • by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life;
  • by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence;
  • by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart;
  • by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live;
  • by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.

God, I trust in Your sustaining love and believe that just as You gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so You will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.

All our members are invited to recite and recommit to the Vow of Nonviolence, on or close to October 2 if possible. Invite your youth group, community, or affinity group to take each of the four calls of the Vow of Nonviolence and talk about what it means to you. Order and use the new Vow of Nonviolence card now available from Pax Christi USA in the online store! For a new guide created by the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative to organize and lead a service to take and reflect on the Vow of Nonviolence; go to

5 thoughts on “Vow of Nonviolence now available in prayer card format!

  1. “By actively resisting evil”
    This is a mistake. Our Lord did not actively resist evil. Rather, He overcame evil by doing the good.

  2. “In the Pax Christi Vow of Nonviolence, there is a fatal flaw. No Christian can carry out in his life, the love and example of Jesus “by actively resisting evil”. Our Lord did not set the example of “actively resisting evil”. Rather, He tolerated evil to the point of being “led like a Lamb to the slaughter”. Yet, He smothered evil with good by an assault on the flank. The flank assault, as any good soldier knows, is an attempt to strike the enemy at an advantageous angle – not directly. Such an angle, Our Lord has demonstrated, is most effective in dealing with the powers of evil. This angle implies not “actively resisting evil”, even though that resistance may be nonviolent. Rather, It suggests the gracious embrace of love on the side. Concretely, this means that Christians should get rid of the tactics of blocking entrances to missile bases or otherwise harassing the Pentagon. On the side however, we should be supporting the work of Arun Gandhi for he has found that Christlike angle from which to assault the evil of war.” (William Horan 2008)

  3. Important insight and reminder. We are called to live the message and example. Not necessarily to offer Resistance as it is usually understood these days.

    In other words, we are called to live “as if” or in order to embody the message in out actions…

    In fairness the difference is often difficult to discern. In my opinion the Berrigan brothers , especially Daniel, is a positive example of the correct understanding of our duty. Hard to distinguish Berrigan from Gandhi…

    1. The big difference between Fr. Daniel Berrigan and Gandhi is the following:
      Arun Gandhi said: “You can quote me as saying Mahatma Gandhi would disagree with the Plowshares actions because they employ tactics of secrecy and destruction of property. I also think locking up the most courageous and devoted peace leaders for long prison terms is a way of weakening the peace movement. Those leaders could do much more for peace outside of jail than in it.” ( The Jesus Journal – Summer 1995 – No. 77 – page 44 )
      “Common people who are not directly involved in social debates and political conflicts have their lives to live, they become angry at those who are disturbing their lives or damaging property that has to be repaired using public funds. Thus the average person, whose support is often necessary for lasting success, is alienated. Rather than leading to a resolution, they escalate the conflict and create more deeply entrenched opponents.” (Legacy of Love by Arun Gandhi – page 132)

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