In his public life, dedicated to the proclamation of the Good News, Jesus received material aid to support himself with the group of the twelve Apostles (Lk 8:1-3). With this aid they also assisted those most in need (Jn 12:4-7). After Pentecost, in the time of the Church, the need was felt to support those who dedicated themselves fully to the proclamation of the Gospel (1 Tim 5:17-18). Saint Paul, in the Churches he founded, instituted the collection in support of the Mother Church of Jerusalem, which faced serious economic difficulties. He wrote in the First Letter to the Corinthians (16:1-4): “Concerning the contribution for the saints: as I directed to the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me”.
This concrete participation in the needs of the community took on various forms throughout history, giving rise to the awareness that all the baptized are required to support, also materially and according to their means, the work of evangelization and at the same time to assist those most in need everywhere in the world.