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The Life of St. Vincent de Paul
as Parable
The
Beginnings:
1581-1609
Dealing with our roots and shame
The	
  Word:	
  
Mark	
  5:25-­‐34;	
  	
  
2	
  Corinthians	
  4:5-­‐15	
  
•  Born	
  in	
  Pouy,	
  France,	
  third	
  of	
  
six	
  children	
  of	
  poor,	
  peasant	
  
family	
  	
  
•  April	
  24,	
  1581	
  
•  Studies	
  humani9es	
  in	
  Dax,	
  
theology	
  in	
  Toulouse	
  
•  1595-­‐1600	
  
•  Shame	
  over	
  father	
  and	
  humble	
  
origins	
  
The poverty of our first motives
The	
  Word:	
  
Mark	
  10:35-­‐45	
  
•  Vincent	
  ordained	
  September	
  23,	
  1600	
  by	
  
84	
  year	
  bishop	
  in	
  Chateau	
  l’Eveque	
  
•  Dimissorial	
  leKers	
  falsely	
  tes9fy	
  he	
  had	
  
proper	
  canonical	
  age	
  of	
  24	
  
“The disfigured and desolated . . .
Holy Spouse of the Savior”	
  
v  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	
  .	
  .	
  .	
  .”	
  
v  1643:	
  “Concubinage	
  and	
  
drunkenness	
  	
  among	
  the	
  
clergy	
  were	
  widespread	
  .	
  .	
  .	
  .	
  
and	
  looked	
  upon	
  as	
  common	
  
prac9ce.”	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Revela=on	
  21	
  
Dealing with scandal
v  1600-­‐1604:	
  Returned	
  to	
  
Toulouse	
  to	
  pursue	
  
baccalaureate	
  in	
  theology	
  
v  1605-­‐1607:	
  	
  disappears;	
  the	
  
account	
  of	
  the	
  Barbary	
  
pirates	
  
v  1607-­‐1608:	
  in	
  Avignon	
  and	
  
Rome	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Ma>hew	
  18:5-­‐9	
  
The
Formative
Years:
1609-1617
Vital importance of a good spiritual
director and friend
v  1608:	
  arrives	
  in	
  Paris	
  seeking	
  a	
  
benefice;	
  meets	
  Pierre	
  de	
  Berulle,	
  
member	
  of	
  the	
  par2	
  devot	
  
v  1609:	
  falsely	
  accused	
  of	
  the	
  
v  1610:	
  leKer	
  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	
  re9rement	
  
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
v  1610:	
  becomes	
  almoner	
  for	
  
Marguerite	
  de	
  Valois,	
  
repudiated	
  wife	
  of	
  Henri	
  IV	
  
v  1610:	
  leKer	
  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	
  
re9rement	
  so	
  that	
  I	
  may	
  
spend	
  the	
  rest	
  of	
  my	
  days	
  
near	
  you.”	
  
v  1611-­‐1615:	
  endures	
  
tempta9on	
  against	
  faith;	
  
resolu9on	
  comes	
  from	
  
decision	
  to	
  dedicate	
  full-­‐9me	
  
to	
  service	
  of	
  the	
  poor	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Mark	
  1:14-­‐20	
  
Learning to honor the many gifts of the
Body of Christ
v  1612:	
  becomes	
  pastor	
  of	
  small	
  
parish	
  of	
  Clichy	
  near	
  Paris	
  –	
  
“This	
  [stay	
  at	
  Clichy]	
  gave	
  me	
  
so	
  much	
  consola9on	
  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	
  Philippe-­‐Emmanuel	
  de	
  Gondi,	
  
general	
  of	
  the	
  galleys	
  of	
  France	
  –	
  
involved	
  in	
  educa9on	
  of	
  de	
  Gondi	
  
children,	
  spiritual	
  direc9on	
  of	
  me	
  de	
  
Gondi,	
  catechizing	
  of	
  household	
  
servants	
  
	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Genesis	
  18:1-­‐15;	
  	
  
The	
  Book	
  of	
  Ruth	
  
Apostolic
Fruitfulness:
1617-1660
Attentiveness to detail,
“events and circumstances”
v  1617:	
  death	
  bed	
  
confession	
  of	
  farmer	
  in	
  
Gannes	
  
v  January	
  25,	
  1617:	
  
preaches	
  sermon	
  on	
  
“General	
  Confession”	
  in	
  
Folleville	
  
	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Luke	
  21:1-­‐4;	
  Mark	
  8:1-­‐9	
  
The Reign of God comes slowly
v  Lent	
  1617:	
  flees	
  to	
  Cha9llon-­‐les-­‐Dombes	
  from	
  the	
  de	
  Gondi	
  estates	
  	
  
v  August	
  to	
  December	
  1617:	
  established	
  first	
  “Confraternity	
  of	
  Charity”	
  for	
  
the	
  assistance	
  of	
  the	
  poor	
  sick	
  
v  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	
  
v  1618-­‐1624:	
  devoted	
  to	
  preaching	
  of	
  missions	
  and	
  establishing	
  of	
  
Confraterni9es	
  of	
  Charity	
  on	
  the	
  de	
  Gondi	
  proper9es	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Ma>hew	
  13:31-­‐33;	
  
Mark	
  4:26-­‐29	
  
The	
  first	
  Rule	
  –	
  and	
  all	
  subsequent	
  Rules	
  -­‐-­‐	
  of	
  the	
  
Confraternity	
  of	
  Charity	
  are	
  personal,	
  par+cular,	
  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	
  liKle	
  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	
  liKle	
  tray.”	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
1	
  Corinthians	
  13	
  
Not how “much” but
how it is done
The Central Place of the Poor
v  1623:	
  returns	
  for	
  visit	
  to	
  Pouy;	
  renounces	
  all	
  
desire	
  for	
  future	
  wealth;	
  endures	
  extreme	
  
tempta9on	
  for	
  three	
  months	
  
v  1624:	
  retreat	
  at	
  Soissons	
  –	
  received	
  the	
  grace	
  of	
  
“indifference”	
  –	
  “took	
  away	
  the	
  pleasure	
  and	
  
the	
  hurry”	
  –	
  regarding	
  the	
  founda9on	
  of	
  the	
  
mission	
  
v  April	
  17,	
  1625:	
  	
  founda9on	
  of	
  the	
  Congrega9on	
  
of	
  the	
  Mission	
  for	
  the	
  “purpose	
  of	
  preaching	
  
missions	
  to	
  poor	
  country	
  people.”	
  
v  1625:	
  Vincent	
  meets	
  Louise	
  de	
  Marillac	
  
v  1633:	
  approval	
  of	
  Congrega9on	
  of	
  Mission	
  by	
  
Urban	
  VIII	
  
v  November	
  29,	
  1633:	
  first	
  Daughters	
  of	
  Charity	
  
begin	
  living	
  with	
  Louise	
  de	
  Marillac	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Ma>hew	
  19:13-­‐15;	
  25:31-­‐46;	
  	
  
1	
  Corinthians	
  1:26-­‐31	
  
Overwhelming importance of example
and witness of life
v  1619:	
  mee9ng	
  St.	
  Francis	
  de	
  Sales	
  	
  	
  
v  1620:	
  the	
  here9c	
  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	
  
ci9es	
  are	
  filled	
  with	
  priests	
  and	
  friars	
  who	
  do	
  
absolutely	
  nothing….	
  Do	
  you	
  want	
  to	
  convince	
  me	
  
that	
  this	
  is	
  under	
  the	
  direc9on	
  of	
  the	
  Holy	
  Spirit?	
  	
  I	
  
cannot	
  believe	
  it.”	
  	
  
v  1631:	
  pre-­‐ordina9on	
  retreats	
  
v  1633:	
  beginning	
  of	
  “Tuesday	
  Conferences”	
  
v  1636:	
  establishment	
  of	
  first	
  of	
  18	
  seminaries	
  
The	
  Word:	
  
Ma>hew	
  5:1-­‐16	
  

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St. Vincent's Life As Parable

  • 1. The Life of St. Vincent de Paul as Parable
  • 3. Dealing with our roots and shame The  Word:   Mark  5:25-­‐34;     2  Corinthians  4:5-­‐15   •  Born  in  Pouy,  France,  third  of   six  children  of  poor,  peasant   family     •  April  24,  1581   •  Studies  humani9es  in  Dax,   theology  in  Toulouse   •  1595-­‐1600   •  Shame  over  father  and  humble   origins  
  • 4. The poverty of our first motives The  Word:   Mark  10:35-­‐45   •  Vincent  ordained  September  23,  1600  by   84  year  bishop  in  Chateau  l’Eveque   •  Dimissorial  leKers  falsely  tes9fy  he  had   proper  canonical  age  of  24  
  • 5. “The disfigured and desolated . . . Holy Spouse of the Savior”   v  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  .  .  .  .”   v  1643:  “Concubinage  and   drunkenness    among  the   clergy  were  widespread  .  .  .  .   and  looked  upon  as  common   prac9ce.”   The  Word:   Revela=on  21  
  • 6. Dealing with scandal v  1600-­‐1604:  Returned  to   Toulouse  to  pursue   baccalaureate  in  theology   v  1605-­‐1607:    disappears;  the   account  of  the  Barbary   pirates   v  1607-­‐1608:  in  Avignon  and   Rome   The  Word:   Ma>hew  18:5-­‐9  
  • 8. Vital importance of a good spiritual director and friend v  1608:  arrives  in  Paris  seeking  a   benefice;  meets  Pierre  de  Berulle,   member  of  the  par2  devot   v  1609:  falsely  accused  of  the   v  1610:  leKer  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  re9rement   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 v  1610:  becomes  almoner  for   Marguerite  de  Valois,   repudiated  wife  of  Henri  IV   v  1610:  leKer  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   re9rement  so  that  I  may   spend  the  rest  of  my  days   near  you.”   v  1611-­‐1615:  endures   tempta9on  against  faith;   resolu9on  comes  from   decision  to  dedicate  full-­‐9me   to  service  of  the  poor   The  Word:   Mark  1:14-­‐20  
  • 10. Learning to honor the many gifts of the Body of Christ v  1612:  becomes  pastor  of  small   parish  of  Clichy  near  Paris  –   “This  [stay  at  Clichy]  gave  me   so  much  consola9on  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 1612-­‐1617:  begins  residing  at  home   of  Philippe-­‐Emmanuel  de  Gondi,   general  of  the  galleys  of  France  –   involved  in  educa9on  of  de  Gondi   children,  spiritual  direc9on  of  me  de   Gondi,  catechizing  of  household   servants     The  Word:   Genesis  18:1-­‐15;     The  Book  of  Ruth  
  • 13. Attentiveness to detail, “events and circumstances” v  1617:  death  bed   confession  of  farmer  in   Gannes   v  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 v  Lent  1617:  flees  to  Cha9llon-­‐les-­‐Dombes  from  the  de  Gondi  estates     v  August  to  December  1617:  established  first  “Confraternity  of  Charity”  for   the  assistance  of  the  poor  sick   v  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   v  1618-­‐1624:  devoted  to  preaching  of  missions  and  establishing  of   Confraterni9es  of  Charity  on  the  de  Gondi  proper9es         The  Word:   Ma>hew  13:31-­‐33;   Mark  4:26-­‐29  
  • 15. The  first  Rule  –  and  all  subsequent  Rules  -­‐-­‐  of  the   Confraternity  of  Charity  are  personal,  par+cular,  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  liKle  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  liKle  tray.”   The  Word:   1  Corinthians  13   Not how “much” but how it is done
  • 16. The Central Place of the Poor v  1623:  returns  for  visit  to  Pouy;  renounces  all   desire  for  future  wealth;  endures  extreme   tempta9on  for  three  months   v  1624:  retreat  at  Soissons  –  received  the  grace  of   “indifference”  –  “took  away  the  pleasure  and   the  hurry”  –  regarding  the  founda9on  of  the   mission   v  April  17,  1625:    founda9on  of  the  Congrega9on   of  the  Mission  for  the  “purpose  of  preaching   missions  to  poor  country  people.”   v  1625:  Vincent  meets  Louise  de  Marillac   v  1633:  approval  of  Congrega9on  of  Mission  by   Urban  VIII   v  November  29,  1633:  first  Daughters  of  Charity   begin  living  with  Louise  de  Marillac   The  Word:   Ma>hew  19:13-­‐15;  25:31-­‐46;     1  Corinthians  1:26-­‐31  
  • 17. Overwhelming importance of example and witness of life v  1619:  mee9ng  St.  Francis  de  Sales       v  1620:  the  here9c  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   ci9es  are  filled  with  priests  and  friars  who  do   absolutely  nothing….  Do  you  want  to  convince  me   that  this  is  under  the  direc9on  of  the  Holy  Spirit?    I   cannot  believe  it.”     v  1631:  pre-­‐ordina9on  retreats   v  1633:  beginning  of  “Tuesday  Conferences”   v  1636:  establishment  of  first  of  18  seminaries   The  Word:   Ma>hew  5:1-­‐16