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September 27

St Vincent de Paul - September 27

​Saint Vincent de Paul

Priest, Apostle of the Poor

(1581 – 1660)

“If the world takes something from us on the one hand, God will give us something on the other.

Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Years

Vincent was born on April 24, 1581 at the village of Pouy, in the Province of Guyenne and Gascony, France to father, Jean, and mother, Bertrande.  He was the third of six children born into a poor peasant family. Vincent had three brothers – Jean, Bernard and Gayon, and two sisters – Marie and Marie-Claudine. Early in his life, he demonstrated a talent for literacy. During his childhood he also herded his family’s livestock. At 15, his father sent Vincent to a seminary, managing to pay for it by selling the family’s oxen.

His Education

For 3 years, Vincent received his education at a college in Dax, France, adjoining a monastery of the Friars Minor where he and others resided. In 1597, he began his studies in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Toulouse.

Too Young to be a Priest

Vincent was ordained on September 23, 1600, at the age of nineteen, in Château-l’Évêque, near Périgueux. This was against the regulations established by the Council of Trent which required a minimum of 24 years of age for ordination, so when he was appointed parish priest in Tilh, the appointment was appealed in the Court of Rome. Rather than respond to a lawsuit in which he would probably not have prevailed, he resigned from the position and continued his studies. On October 12, 1604, he received his Bachelor of Theology from the University of Toulouse. Later, he received a Licentiate in Canon Law from the University of Paris. 

A Slave

In 1605, Vincent sailed from Marseilles on his way back from Castres where he had gone to sell property he had received in an inheritance from a wealthy patron in Toulouse.  Vincent was taken captive by Barbary pirates, who took him to Tunis. He was auctioned off as a slave and spent two years in bondage.

Vincent eventually escaped in 1607 to Avignon, France. After returning to France, Vincent went to Rome. There, he continued his studies until 1609 when he was sent back to France on a mission to King Henry IV. Vincent became the chaplain for Queen Margaret of Valois in Paris. Once in France, he made the acquaintance of Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle, whom he took as his spiritual advisor. At his urging, Vincent gave himself completely to the life of charitable works. His work with the poor and his preaching attracted widespread attention. 

A Tutor

In 1613, Vincent was named to the household of the powerful Count de Gondi and was a tutor for the household. Vincent spent a lot of his time on the galleys seeking to end the terrible suffering of the rowers.  These same galleys where his boss, Gondi, was the commanding admiral. In 1619, Vincent become their chaplain and ministered to the galley slaves waiting to be shipped abroad. 

Founded Vincentians

In 1625 in Paris, Vincent founded the Congregation of Missions, called the Lazarites or Vincentians, a society of priests charged with missionary efforts, the training of clergy, and preaching among the country people. In 1633, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, Vincent founded the Daughters of Charity, the first congregation of women to care for the sick and poor outside of the convent. Vincent organized these wealthy women of Paris to collect funds for missionary projects. He founded hospitals and an orphanage. Vincent gathered relief funds for the victims of war and to ransom 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa.

During the bitter wars of the Fronde, which France was engaged in from 1648 to 1653, Vincent was responsible for organizing relief. Throughout his long years of service to the poor, Vincent devoted his life to the alleviation of human suffering and misery. However, Vincent faced opposition from some of the wealthy who found it easier to forget the poor and sometimes even from the poor themselves who lacked appreciation for his efforts. At the age of 79, Vincent died in Paris, France on September 27, 1660. During Vincent’s lifetime, the Vincentians increased in number and spread across the world.

Beatified:           November 21, 1751 by Pope Benedict XIV

Canonized:        July 16, 1767 by Pope Clement XIII

Feast Day:         September 27

Patron Saint:    Charitable Societies

Source:

Reflection

The Church is for all God’s children, rich and poor, peasants and scholars, the sophisticated and the simple. But obviously the greatest concern of the Church must be for those who need the most help—those made helpless by sickness, poverty, ignorance, or cruelty. Vincent de Paul is a particularly appropriate patron for all Christians today, when hunger has become starvation, and the high living of the rich stands in more and more glaring contrast to the physical and moral degradation in which many of God’s children are forced to live.

Source: Saint Vincent de Paul | Franciscan Media

Saint Vincent de Paul was, above all, devoted to following Jesus through serving the poor. Saint after saint emphasizes the importance of attending to the needs of the poor. Yet, as a society and as Christians, we so often find rationalizations which allow us to shirk our responsibility to the poor. Saint Vincent de Paul reminds us that it is truly incumbent upon Christians to, in whatever their capacity, serve those less fortunate than themselves.

Source: Saint Vincent de Paul (1580-1660) | Saint Mary’s Press (smp.org)

Prayers

Generous God, Saint Vincent de Paul developed a special concern for the poor after giving the Sacraments to a dying peasant.  He cared for slaves, prostitutes, war victims, and the destitute.  I ask him to pray for all the Saint Vincent de Paul Societies, the churches that sponsor them, all other charitable ministries, and the people they help.  O Lord, multiply the provisions they distribute to the needy, give new strength to the workers, and bring in more volunteers who serve the poor with genuine love.  Protect these ministries and teach us all by their example that helping the needy brings great joy. 
 
 Saint Vincent, Pray for us.  Amen.

Source: ALL SAINTS: 🌿 Saint Vincent de Paul (saintscatholic.blogspot.com)

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Why St. Vincent de Paul loved serving the poor

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 19 July – St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) “Holy Hero of Divine Charity”

Bartleby.com – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume VII: July. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. July 19 St. Vincent of Paul, Confessor

Catholic Culture –  St. Vincent de Paul

Catholic Exchange – St. Vincent de Paul: Priest & Reformer

Catholic Fire – St. Vincent de Paul, Apostle of the Poor

Catholic Ireland – Sep 27 – St Vincent de Paul, priest (1581-1660)

Catholic News Agency – St. Vincent de Paul Feast Day: Sep 27

Loyola Press – Saint Vincent de Paul, 1581-1660 Feast day September 27

My Catholic Life – St. Vincent de Paul, Priest

New Advent – Dégert, A. (1912). St. Vincent de Paul. In The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Vincent de Paul’s Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Vincent de Paul (1580-1660)

Saint of the Day – September 27 St. Vincent de Paul

uCatholic – St. Vincent de Paul

Wikipedia

Video Link

St. Vincent de Paul – YouTube (Catholic Online)