Tag Archives: Vincentian

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.

Frédéric Ozanam at 200

Frédéric Ozanam DR.jpgToday is the 200th birthday of Frédéric Ozanam the famed co-founder of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society (may 1833). Born in Milan and lived in various cities in France, Ozanam was a well-educated man earning doctorates in law and letters; we was a literary critic and professor of literature. In June 1841 he married Amélie Soulacroix.

In the years following the Revolution, Ozanam advocated ideas pertaining to Catholic democracy based on his reading of Church history and knowing the contributions to culture by those who lived the Catholic faith. Some place Frédéric within a movement called ‘neo-Catholic.’
Frédéric Ozanam was an early proponent of a spirituality based on Saint Vincent de Paul that demonstrated that you can see the face of Christ in the poor, the teaching readily known in the biblical narrative.
In honor of Ozanam’s 200th birthday, VinFormation produced 2 videos accessed here.
Pope John Paul beatified Frédéric Ozanam.
His feast day is September 9.

Feast of the Miraculous Medal

Miraculous medal.jpgThe feast of the Miraculous Medal may be surprising to a few. Catholics honor buildings, theological ideas, people and medals. The Miraculous Medal is known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, the medal that Our Lady on this date in 1830 instructed Saint Catherine Labouré to have struck. There is nothing miraculous about the medal. What is miraculous is the fact that it is a sign that God does miraculous things in our lives. In a boring world there are events that turn reality on end.

Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe that God cares for each of his creatures enough to make His presence known through signs?
The devotion to the medal is nothing more and nothing less than a person having trust in Mary’s instrumentality before the Throne of Grace. It is a devotion to the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Miracles of conversion, healing, cure, renewed faith, and more. Those who are devoted to the wearing the medal receive special graces at the time of death.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Saint Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul by Gagliardi.jpg

I want to remember the Vincentian community in here in Connecticut, and particularly at Saint Stanislaus Church in New Haven. 

My prayer is that the Vincentian priests and brothers fulfill what the Church prays in the Mass Collect (see below) so that their witness be bold and clear for the faithful following of Jesus Christ. We need the witness of Saint Vincent de Paul and his sons and daughters through the vowed life of the Vincentian Society today more than ever. In an age of diminishment in vocations, the love with which the Vincentians live their vocation needs to be extroverted.

With the Church we pray,

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.

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Poverty Eradication and Intergenerational Justice: Stewardship, Solidarity and Subsidiarity

This coming year Pope Benedict is going to spend time teaching matters of Justice. In fact, he’s called for a new emphasis on Justice several times in the past year. St John’s University is a college operated by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians), the religious order founded by the great Saint Vincent de Paul who had a special love for the poor and marginalized but also taught that one can’t effectively serve the poor without an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. For Saint Vincent de Paul, in order to walk with the poor one had to first first walk with the Lord. To that end, the Vincentian Fathers, Brothers and laity organized the Vincentian Center for Church and Society.

Next week, there is the 7th Biennial Vincentian Chair of Social Justice at St. John’s University (Queens, NY Campus) on “Poverty Eradication and Intergenerational Justice: Stewardship, Solidarity and Subsidiarity” to take place on October 22, 2011. 

More information can be found here: Poverty Eradication and Intergenerational Justice.pdf

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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