Tag Archives: St Vincent de Paul

St Vincent de Paul

St Vincent de Paul gave the mission he was given by God: “to preach the Gospel to the poor.”

When sending forth his first missionaries, St. Vincent de Paul said “our vocation is to go, not just to one parish, not just to one diocese, but to all over the world, and to do what?  To set people’s hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did.  He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with his love.”

The spiritual sons and daughters of Vincent … “set America “on fire” with Christ ‘s love; and the flame is still burning, burning for for the poor and abandoned; burning for those in formation for priestly ministry; burning for those in countless churches longing to hear God’s Word; burning in their confessionals, for those aching for God’s mercy; burning for those in schools and universities seeking knowledge and wisdom; burning in hospitals and prisons; burning for and with the Daughters of Charity and the wider Vincentian family; burning at home and in mission lands; burning for justice and peace and inclusion and wholeness and Christ’s love.”

Bishop David O’Connell, CM
excerpts of a homily, 24 September 2016

St Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul, Spanish icon

Today is the liturgical memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul and the 400th anniversary of the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians). My prayer today is focussed on the Vincentian gift I received as a school boy at St. Stanislaus Church, New Haven, CT.  Thanks be to God for Vincent and his Family!

In his letter to the Vincentian Family today, the Holy Father wrote:

He was always progressing, open to seeking God and himself. Grace worked to supplement this constant quest: as a shepherd, he encountered Jesus the Good Shepherd in a striking way in the person of the poor. This occurred in a very special way when he allowed himself to be touched by the eyes of a man thirsting for mercy and by the situation of family lacking everything. At that moment, he was deeply moved by Jesus looking at him, inviting him to no longer live for himself, but to serve Jesus wholeheartedly in persons who are poor, whom Vincent de Paul would later call “our lords and masters” (Correspondence, Conferences, Documents XI, 349). His life then became steadfast service, up to his last breath. A verse from Scripture showed him the meaning of his mission: “The Lord has sent me to bring the Good News to the poor” (cf. Lk 4:18).

In the glorious wounds of Jesus, may you find the strength of charity, the happiness of the grain that gives life by dying, the fecundity of the rock from which water gushes forth, the joy of coming out of yourself in order to go out into the world, free from nostalgia for the past, confident in God and creative regarding the challenges of today and tomorrow because, as Saint Vincent said, “love is inventive to infinity”.

St Vincent de Paul

st-vicent-de-paul

 

“The Church teaches us that mercy belongs to God. Let us implore Him to bestow on us the spirit of mercy and compassion, so that we are filled with it and may never lose it. Only consider how much we ourselves are in need of mercy.”

Saint Vincent de Paul

Vincentians elect new superior general: Father Tomaz Mavric

Tomaz MavricThe Congregation of the Mission –the Vincentians– elected a new Superior General on Tuesday, 5 July 2016, succeeding Saint Vincent de Paul and most recently Father Gregory G. Gay who was elected Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission in 2004.

The Vincentians began their 42nd General Assembly at DePaul University in Chicago, the first General Assembly outside of Europe. You will know, among many others, Saints Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Elizabeth Seton and Blessed  Frederic Ozanam who form the Vincentian family.

Father Tomaz Mavric, 57, is the Twenty-fifth Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity.

A biography of Father Tomaz Mavric is posted here.

Saint Vincent de Paul

The prayers for the Mass of Saint Vincent de Paul today have us focus on “the relief of the poor and the formation of the clergy” imitating what Vincent loved and  did in following the Savior. The Church’s mission is one of service and education. Baptized into the company of saints, all Christians ought to have concern for the least in society; likewise, the baptized are to be concerned for their own education in the faith aiming to be as Saint Paul said, mature Christians. In Vincent’s world, education of the faithful came through the formation of healthy and holy clergy. An uneducated, that is, an untrained clergyman can lead others to perdition.

“Charity is the cement which binds communities to God and persons to one another in such a way that whoever contributes to union of hearts in a Company binds it indissolubly to God.” (Coste II, Letter 651, p. 413)

Saint Vincent said in his common rules as noted by Vincentian Father José María Román:

Charitable behaviour towards the neighbor should al­ways be characteristic of us. We should try, then: 1) to behave towards others in the way we might reasonably expect to be treated by them; 2) to agree with others, and to accept everything in the Lord; 3) to put up with one another without grumbling; 4) to weep with those who weep; 5) to rejoice with those who rejoice; 6) to yield precedence to one another; 7) to be kind and helpful to one another in all sincerity.

Hence, Vincent stressed three attitudes for his companions in the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity, but they are also applicable to us who are not Vincentians, namely: mutual respect, condescension (humility) and bearing with the weaknesses of our neighbors.

Our prayer today ought to note how we engage in concrete works of charity, spiritual and corporal, and how we attend to our education in the faith while supporting those preparing to serve the world as Catholic priests.

The Vincentians need our prayers, so, I’d like to remember the Fathers of the Congregation of the Mission who serve in the Archdiocese of Hartford, especially those at St Stanislaus Church, New Haven, CT.

I’d recommend reading St Vincent de Paul: A Biography by Father José María Román, CM (London, 1999), but the same author has published various aspects of Saint Vincent’s life and work online.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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