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The Life of St. Vincent de Paul as Parable. The Beginnings: 1581-1609.

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Presentation on theme: "The Life of St. Vincent de Paul as Parable. The Beginnings: 1581-1609."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Life of St. Vincent de Paul as Parable

2 The Beginnings:

3 Dealing with our roots and shame Born in Pouy, France, third of six children of poor, peasant family April 24, 1581 Studies humanities in Dax, theology in Toulouse Shame over father and humble origins The Word: Mark 5:25-34; 2 Corinthians 4:5-15

4 The poverty of our first motives Vincent ordained September 23, 1600 by 84 year bishop in Chateau l’Eveque Dimissorial letters falsely testify he had proper canonical age of 24 The Word: Mark 10:35-45

5 “The disfigured and desolated... Holy Spouse of the Savior” 1597: “Over one hundred and forty bishoprics and forty-three sees are vacant... Not many of them [the bishops] are intelligent,... and hence the number of ignorant, mendicant priests....” 1643: “Concubinage and drunkenness among the clergy were widespread.... and looked upon as common practice.” The Word: Revelation 21

6 Dealing with scandal : Returned to Toulouse to pursue baccalaureate in theology : disappears; the account of the Barbary pirates : in Avignon and Rome The Word: Matthew 18:5-9

7 The Formative Years:

8 Vital importance of a good spiritual director and friend 1608: arrives in Paris seeking a benefice; meets Pierre de Berulle, member of the parti devot 1609: falsely accused of theft 1610: letter to mother, “But I have such trust in God’s grace, that He will bless my efforts and will soon give me the means of an honorable retirement so that I may spend the rest of my days near you.” The Word: Acts 9:23-28; 11:21-26; 13:1-5

9 The process of metanoia, conversion 1610: becomes almoner for Marguerite de Valois, repudiated wife of Henri IV 1610: letter to mother, “But I have such trust in God’s grace, that He will bless my efforts and will soon give me the means of an honorable retirement so that I may spend the rest of my days near you.” : endures temptation against faith; resolution comes from decision to dedicate full- time to service of the poor The Word: Mark 1:14-20

10 Learning to honor the many gifts of the Body of Christ 1612: becomes pastor of small parish of Clichy near Paris – “This [stay at Clichy] gave me so much consolation and made me so happy... [to be] a parish priest in the midst of such goodhearted people.... One day his Eminence, Cardinal de Retz, asked me, ‘Well, sir, how are you?‘ I told him, ‘My Lord, I am so happy that I cannot express it!’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because I have such good people.... ‘” The Word: 1 Corinthians 12

11 Walking in faith, taking things one step at a time : begins residing at home of Philippe-Emmanuel de Gondi, general of the galleys of France – involved in education of de Gondi children, spiritual direction of me de Gondi, catechizing of household servants The Word: Genesis 18:1-15; The Book of Ruth

12 Apostolic Fruitfulness:

13 Attentiveness to detail, “events and circumstances” 1617: death bed confession of farmer in Gannes January 25, 1617: preaches sermon on “General Confession” in Folleville The Word: Luke 21:1-4; Mark 8:1-9

14 The Reign of God comes slowly Lent 1617: flees to Chatillon-les-Dombes from the de Gondi estates August to December 1617: established first “Confraternity of Charity” for the assistance of the poor sick December 1617: urged by Madame de Gondi and Berulle, returns to de Gondi family; begins to distance himself from Berulle and consults more frequently with Andre Duval : devoted to preaching of missions and establishing of Confraternities of Charity on the de Gondi properties The Word: Matthew 13:31-33; Mark 4:26-29

15 Not how “much”but how it is done The first Rule – and all subsequent Rules -- of the Confraternity of Charity are personal, particular, and detailed. “The one whose turn it is... will prepare the meal, take it to the sick and, drawing near them, will greet them joyfully and charitably. She will place the little tray on the bed, and place on it a small napkin, an eye-cup, a spoon, and a piece of bread. She will have the sick people wash their hands and will say the blessing over the food; she will put the soup in a bowl, arranging everything on the little tray.” The Word: 1 Corinthians 13

16 The Central Place of the Poor 1623: returns for visit to Pouy; renounces all desire for future wealth; endures extreme temptation for three months 1624: retreat at Soissons – received the grace of “indifference” – “took away the pleasure and the hurry” – regarding the foundation of the mission April 17, 1625: foundation of the Congregation of the Mission for the “purpose of preaching missions to poor country people.” 1625: Vincent meets Louise de Marillac 1633: approval of Congregation of Mission by Urban VIII November 29, 1633: first Daughters of Charity begin living with Louise de Marillac The Word: Matthew 19:13-15; 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

17 Overwhelming importance of example and witness of life 1619: meeting St. Francis de Sales 1620: the heretic at Montmirail – “I cannot believe [in the Church of Rome] while the Catholics in the countryside are abandoned into the hands of some vicious and ignorant pastors…. On the other hand, the cities are filled with priests and friars who do absolutely nothing…. Do you want to convince me that this is under the direction of the Holy Spirit? I cannot believe it.” 1631: pre-ordination retreats 1633: beginning of “Tuesday Conferences” 1636: establishment of first of 18 seminaries The Word: Matthew 5:1-16


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