Feast Day – September 27
Patron saint of the charitable organizations
St. Vincent de Paul’s Feast Day celebrates the life of St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century French priest who founded the Daughters of Charity in 1633. Born in Pouy, France (outside of Paris), in 1581, St. Vincent was the third of six children born to a poor country folk couple. He was ordained as a priest at age 19 and earned his Bachelor’s of Theology in 1604.
He spent the first years of priesthood living in relative ease in Paris. The year 1617 marked a turning point in St. Vincent’s life. It was then that he decided to dedicate his life to serving the poor. He came to believe that God lived in every person, no matter what their condition in life or where they came from. In July 1617, St. Vincent abandoned his comfortable life as a priest in Paris and became a parish priest dedicated to the poor.
St. Vincent saw that the poor needed nursing and social services, often in their own homes. In 1633, he and Louise de Marillac, also an advocate of the poor, taught 12 peasant girls to care for the poor, to read and write, and to lead religious lives. These women were the first Daughters of Charity; a group that would grow to a world-wide network of sisters that today care for millions of poor in every continent in the world.
Dear St. Vincent, the mere mention of your name suggests a litany of your virtues: humility, zeal, mercy, self-sacrifice. It also recalls your many foundations; works of mercy, congregations, societies. The church gratefully remembers your promotion of the priesthood. Inspire all charitable workers, especially those who minister to the poor, both the spiritually and materially poor. Amen.
WHERE TO LEARN MORE:
There are many books and videos available on the saints. Also, there is a lot of information on the Internet, try http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintb03.htm