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Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul

Patron Saint of Social Missions

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St. Vincent de Paul: "Give me a man of prayer and he will be capable of everything. He may say with the apostle, 'I can do all things in him who strengthens me.'"

Founder of the Congregation of the Missions and the Daughters of Charity (1580-1660)

His life

+ Born in 1580, Vincent was ordained when he was only twenty-years old and appointed to serve as chaplain of Queen Margaret of Valois. He later became the private chaplain to the powerful Gondi Family.

+ While ministering to peasants on the Gondi estate, Vincent came to understand that God was calling him to serve the poor and most marginalized.

+ Returning to Paris, Monsieur Vincent helped galley slaves, organized charitable confraternities to provide food and clothing for the poor, and founded a new community of priests and brothers dedicated to the missions and formation of the seminarians: the Congregation of the Missions (now more commonly known as the Vincentians). A short time later, aided by Saint Louise de Marillac, he founded the Daughters of Charity.

+ Always gentle, understanding, and aware of the needs of the poor, Vincent de Paul died in 1660. Canonized in 1737, he is honored as the patron saint of social workers.

+ Inspired by the life and mission of Saint Vincent, Blessed Frederic Ozanam established a charitable organization dedicated to the care of the sick and poor. Since 1833 Frederic’s “conference of charity”—the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul—has provided care for countless people in need throughout the world.

For prayer and reflection

May the example given to us by Saint Vincent de Paul lead us all to a joyful and selfless service to the neediest and open us up to the duty of hospitality and the gift of life.”—Pope Francis

Spiritual bonus

On September 27 we also remember Blessed Herminia Martinez Amigo de Martínez. A married laywoman from Valencia, Spain, she and her husband devoted their energy and financial resources to works and charity and service to the poor. She was martyred during the anti-Catholic violence of the Spanish Civil War on September 27, 1936, and was beatified with other martyrs in 2001.

Vocations

To learn about the Congregation of the Missions (the Vincentians), visit:

Western Province: www.vincentian.org

New England Province: www.cmnewengland.org

Eastern Province: www.cmeast.org

Prayer

O God, who for the relief of the poor
and the formation of the clergy
endowed the Priest Saint Vincent de Paul
with apostolic virtues,
grant, we pray, that, afire with that same spirit,
we may love what he loved
and put into practice what he taught.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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