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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feast of St. Vincent de Paul (2nd post for today)

Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul. He was born into a poor family in the late 1500s. While a young priest, he was captured by pirates & sold into slavery. After two years, he converted his last master & was set free.

Throughout the rest of his life, he became a trusted advisor to French royalty & was dedicated to helping the poor. He helped them find jobs, food, & clothing. He founded the Daughters of Charity, who helped gather money & nurse the sick. He also helped in building homes for those who were sick, aged, & abandoned.

This past Sunday, I stayed home from church because I had a splitting headache & The Saint was also not feeling great. While home, I decided to watch Monsieur Vincent, a 1947 movie about St. Vincent de Paul's work w/ the poor & the struggles he faced in trying to bring the poor & royalty together.

During one scene, he was conferring w/ a group of society's ladies who felt he was causing more trouble. In their minds, he caused more poor people to come to Paris & in turn, caused more crime & problems. He had found a baby outside a church, left to die, & none of the women were willing to take the child in because he had been born in sin.

Monsieur Vincent replied, "When God wants someone to die to pay for sin, He sends His Son."

Despite their shame, they continued to refuse helping him & were very judgmental towards the poor. They tried to encourage him to stop all his work w/ the poor because it was causing problems in their society & going against the judges of the day. I LOVE his response to them:

"When I appear in front of my only Judge, do you think I'll tell Him, 'I witnessed crimes but didn't want to interfere and get in trouble with the local institutions and the judges who allow those crimes."

Now, I don't know for sure if St. Vincent de Paul actually said the above mentioned quotes, but they are still powerful to me.

To the day he died, at the age of 84, he continued to work for the poor & felt that he'd never done enough in his life. As one can see to this day, his work continues through The St. Vincent de Paul Society. Just two weekends ago, our parish had a truck in the parking lot for parishioners to leave their donations of clothing, household items, toiletries, & more.

There will always be poor among us. It is our Christian duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves, no matter what our status may be in life. If everyone did just a little bit, think of how big that assistance would be.

St. Vincent, patron of all charitable associations and father of those who are in misery, come to our assistance. Obtain from Our Lord help for the poor, relief for the infirm, consolation for the afflicted, protection for the abandoned, a spirit of generosity for the rich, grace of conversion for sinners, zeal for priests, peace for the Church, tranquility and order for all nations, and salvation for them all. May we be united in the life to come, by your intercession, and experience joy, gladness, and everlasting happiness. Amen.


Kristen @ St Monica's Bridge said...

Thank you for this beautiful post today. I reposted on facebook.

munchesmom said...

Thank you, Kristen!

Lynn said...

This was on the my daughter's school calendar. Thanks for sharing a bit about him.

I think they are doing a coloring page about him.