St. Vincent de Paul – image by Monastery Icons
St.Vincent de Paul is one of those saints whose mark on society has been so great that we often take their contributions for granted. Men and women through the centuries have been moved to serve the poor because of his example, as priests, nuns, and lay persons. Through the society which bears his name, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, members work across the United States and around the world, providing help both for those who face long term challenges and those who are “down on their luck” for a short time.
Last year, Randy wrote a biographical post for the feast of St. Vincent de Paul. Lots of good information is there, along with links to other sites. This year, I asked members of orders founded by St. Vincent de Paul and his associates for one thing they’d like the world to know about him. These were responses I received, in order received.
From Sr. Mary Frates, DC – Vocation Director, Daughters of Charity, DePaul Provincial House
Thank you for this opportunity. St. Vincent De Paul is well known for making an impact on the society of his day through organizing service to the very poorest. What I would like people to know about Vincent is that he paid attention to everything that was happening around him and it was this attention to the present moment that drew him to take action to help those in need.
From Fr. Ray Van Dorpe, C.M. Assistant Provincial, Midwest Province of the Congregation of the Mission
I would like people to know that St. Vincent de Paul was a man far ahead of his time. He was one of the first to organize the laity for charitable works of mercy that were not dependent on the support of the local pastor. These “Confraternities of Charity” later became the Ladies of Charity, an international organization and part of the larger Vincentian Family, along with the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to name but a few. St. Vincent was also ahead of his time in putting women to work outside the structures of cloistered life (the Daughters of Charity). He also was one of those who revolutionized the formation of the clergy in France and other countries and developed a sophisticated ministry of preaching missions in poor rural parishes (the Congregation of the Mission). But more important than all these accomplishments was his love for the poor and his deep desire to bring the Good News to the poorest of God’s people.
Thank you for sharing your insights. May the Lord continue to bless your ministry and that of Vincentians around the world.Read More