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St. Catherine Labouré and St. Vincent de Paul

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St. Catherine was connected to St. Vincent through dreams and visions whose meaning she did not understand at first.

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St. Catherine Labouré and St. Vincent de Paul

  1. 1. S T. C AT H E R I N E L A B O U R É A N D S T. V I N C E N T D E PA U L A D R E A M C O M E S T R U E
  2. 2. Before the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin took place, it is good to recall how Saint Catherine encountered Saint Vincent. As a young farm girl in Fain-les-Moutiers, she would often go to the parish church to pray, even in the cold of winter.
  3. 3. O n e n i g h t , s h e d re a m e d t h a t s h e w a s i n t h e v i l l a g e c h u rc h , w h e re a n e l d e r l y p r i e s t w a s c e l e b r a t i n g M a s s . S h e a t t e n d e d t h i s M a s s , a n d w a s g re a t l y t o u c h e d b y i t . A f t e r a l i t t l e w h i l e , t h e p r i e s t w h o m s h e d i d n o t k n o w s i g n a l e d f o r h e r t o c o m e c l o s e r. F r i g h t e n e d , s h e d re w a w a y f ro m h i m .
  4. 4. A f t e r l e a v i n g t h e c h u rc h , s h e w e n t t o v i s i t a s i c k p e r s o n . S h e m e t t h e e l d e r l y p r i e s t t h e re o n c e a g a i n , a n d h e s a i d t o h e r : “ M y c h i l d , i t ’s g o o d t o t a k e c a re o f t h o s e w h o a re i l l . Yo u f l e e f ro m m e n o w, b u t o n e d a y y o u w i l l b e h a p p y t o c o m e t o m e . G o d h a s a p l a n f o r y o u , n e v e r f o rg e t t h a t . ” W h e n s h e a w o k e , s h e re a l i z e d i t w a s a l l j u s t a d re a m w h o s e m e a n i n g s h e d i d n o t y e t u n d e r s t a n d .
  5. 5. T h e re w a s a h o u s e o f D a u g h t e r s o f C h a r i t y i n C h â t i l l o n , a n d s o m e t i m e l a t e r C a t h e r i n e w e n t t h e re o n e d a y t o t a l k t o t h e S u p e r i o r a b o u t h e r p o s s i b l e v o c a t i o n a n d t o a s k h e r a d v i c e . A s s h e e n t e re d t h e p a r l o r, C a t h e r i n e ’s a t t e n t i o n w a s d r a w n t o a p a i n t i n g t h a t p e r f e c t l y re s e m b l e d t h e p r i e s t s h e h a d s e e n i n h e r d re a m . S h e a s k e d w h o i t w a s , a n d w h e n s h e l e a r n e d t h a t i t w a s S a i n t V i n c e n t d e P a u l , t h e m y s t e r y b e c a m e c l e a r a n d s h e u n d e r s t o o d i t a s a c a l l f ro m G o d .
  6. 6. And so in early 1830, having finally received approval from her father, she began her Postulancy with the Sisters in Châtillon. On April 21, 1830, after this three-month stage in Châtillon, she arrived at the novitiate at rue du Bac in Paris. She was twenty-four years old.
  7. 7. A t t h e t i m e o f h e r a r r i v a l i n t h e s e m i n a r y, S i s t e r C a t h e r i n e h a d t h e j o y o f p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a m a g n i f i c e n t c e re m o n y. T h e b o d y o f S a i n t V i n c e n t d e P a u l , w h i c h h a d b e e n h i d d e n d u r i n g t h e F re n c h R e v o l u t i o n , w a s b e i n g s o l e m n l y t r a n s p o r t e d f ro m N o t re D a m e C a t h e d r a l t o t h e V i n c e n t i a n s ’ n e w c h a p e l o n r u e d e S e v re s . H i s b o d y w a s l a i d o u t i n a s i l v e r re l i q u a r y t h a t h a d b e e n d o n a t e d b y t h e d i o c e s e o f P a r i s , j u s t a s i t a p p e a r s n o w, a n d t h e p ro c e s s i o n w a s a c c o m p a n i e d b y a h u g e c ro w d . E i g h t h u n d re d D a u g h t e r s o f C h a r i t y p ro c e s s e d b e h i n d t h i s re l i q u a r y, a c c o m p a n i e d b y g ro u p s o f c h i l d re n . S i s t e r C a t h e r i n e , i n g re a t a w e , w a s f o l l o w i n g t h e o n e w h o e a r l i e r h a d c a l l e d h e r t o s e r v e t h e G o d o f C h a r i t y. H e r d re a m w a s c o m i n g t r u e t o t h e l a s t d e t a i l .
  8. 8. R e t u r n i n g t o r u e d u B a c , S i s t e r C a t h e r i n e t h e n h a d a v i s i o n o f t h e h e a r t o f S a i n t V i n c e n t . S h e w ro t e : “ I t a p p e a re d t o m e t h re e d i ff e re n t t i m e s , o n t h re e c o n s e c u t i v e d a y s ; f i r s t i t w a s w h i t e re p re s e n t i n g p e a c e , c a l m , i n n o c e n c e a n d u n i o n , t h e n re d l i k e f i re , re p re s e n t i n g t h e c h a r i t y t h a t s h o u l d s h i n e i n o u r h e a r t s , t h e n a b l a c k i s h - re d , w h i c h m a d e m e f e e l a s e n s e o f s a d n e s s w i t h i n , a n d s e e m e d t o h a v e t o d o w i t h g o v e r n m e n t c h a n g e s . ”
  9. 9. T h re e m o n t h s l a t e r, K i n g C h a r l e s X w a s o v e r t h ro w n a n d F r a n c e s u ff e re d t h e h o r ro r s o f a re v o l u t i o n . C a t h e r i n e , f o r h e r p a r t , w i t h a h u m b l e a n d s e l f l e s s d i s p o s i t i o n , o ff e re d h e r C o m m u n i t y a l l h e r g o o d w i l l , a n d g re a t d e s i re t o s e r v e p o o r p e r s o n s , t h e s u ff e r i n g m e m b e r s o f J e s u s C h r i s t . S h e l o v e d M a r y a n d h o p e d t o s e e h e r. I n t h e s i l e n c e o f t h e S e m i n a r y, f u l l o f t r u s t , t h e y o u n g S i s t e r w a i t e d . T h a t w a s w h e re s h e w a s f a v o re d w i t h t h e a m a z i n g a p p a r i t i o n s t h a t y o u a l l k n o w.
  10. 10. Catherine spent her whole life taking care of elderly persons. In our day, this responsibility remains a very important one. There are many persons in our midst who are in need of presence both corporally and spiritually.
  11. 11. F o r t h e m a n d f o r u s , M a r y i n v i t e s u s t o [ … ] s e e t h e d i v i n e i m a g e o f C h r i s t i n t h e h u m a n b e i n g s a l l a ro u n d u s . M a r y t e l l s u s t h e m e a n i n g o f C h u rc h a n d m i s s i o n . S h e i n v i t e s u s t o a c o n v e r s i o n o f h e a r t s i n o rd e r t o m o d e l t h e t w o h e a r t s t h a t a re o n t h e [ M i r a c u l o u s ] m e d a l . E v e n i n h i s t i m e , S a i n t V i n c e n t d e P a u l u n d e r s t o o d t h i s m e s s a g e w e l l , a s d i d S a i n t L o u i s e d e M a r i l l a c . I t i s u p t o u s t o c o n t i n u e t h i s w o n d e r f u l m i s s i o n .
  12. 12. A R C H I V E S O F T H E I N T E R N AT I O N A L M I R A C U L O U S M E D A L A S S O C I AT I O N From a homily by Fr. Daniel Planchot, C.M. P R E S E N T E D B Y

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