The French saint was certain "that Jesus and the poor are the treasure of the Church."
Today, the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, Pope Francis sent a message to the Vincentian Family, marking the 400th anniversary of the establishing of their charism. The saint’s example, the Holy Father wrote, “invites us to be on the path always, ready to let ourselves be surprised by the Lord’s gaze.”
St. Vincent de Paul, the pope explained, always lived “open to the search for God.”
He had an “intensely illuminating encounter with Jesus, the Good Shepherd, in the poor.” Through him, the Holy Spirit inspired an “impetus of generosity within the Church.” The French saint was, in effect, certain “that Jesus and the poor are the treasure of the Church,” the pope said.
The example of Saint Vincent de Paul, the pope continued, “moves us […] to give space and time to the poor.” A Christianity devoid of contact with those who suffer is “disincarnate, incapable of touching the flesh of Christ.”
In the image of Jesus who was poor, it is necessary to become “rocks,” solid points of support, bringing the Spirit of the Lord to the peripheries.
This “courageous mission in the world” should “free us from the complex languages” of forms of security that are not founded on God. We must have “complete availability and docile humility” because “charity is the heart of the Church.”
Also today, in his general audience, addressing French-speaking faithful, Pope Francis prayed that the intercession of Saint Vincent de Paul would help to “face the disappointments of life and sow the seed of hope in their lives.” He also encouraged young people to find inspiration in this saint, integrating into their projects “joyful and disinterested service” to those most in need.