The Life of St. Vincent de Paul as Parable

Download Report

Transcript The Life of St. Vincent de Paul as Parable

The Life of St. Vincent de Paul
as Parable
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
The poverty of our first motives
• Vincent ordained September 23, 1600 by 84 year bishop in Chateau
• Dimissorial letters falsely testify he had proper canonical age of 24
The Word:
Mark 10:35-45
“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
Dealing with scandal
• 1600-1604: Returned to
Toulouse to pursue
baccalaureate in
• 1605-1607: disappears;
the account of the
Barbary pirates
• 1607-1608: in Avignon
and Rome
The Word:
Matthew 18:5-9
Vital importance of a good spiritual
director and friend
• 1608: arrives in Paris seeking a
benefice; meets Pierre de
Berulle, member of the parti
• 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
The process of metanoia, conversion
• 1610: becomes almoner for
Marguerite de Valois,
repudiated wife of Henri
• 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.”
• 1611-1615: endures
temptation against faith;
resolution comes from
decision to dedicate fulltime to service of the poor
The Word:
Mark 1:14-20
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
Walking in faith, taking things one
step at a time
1612-1617: begins
residing at home of
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
Attentiveness to detail,
“events and circumstances”
• 1617: death bed
confession of
farmer in Gannes
• January 25, 1617:
preaches sermon
on “General
Confession” in
The Word:
Luke 21:1-4; Mark 8:1-9
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
• 1618-1624: 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
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
The Central Place
of the Poor
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