Saint of the Day ~ September 27

SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL (1581-1660), priest and founder – Patron saint of the Saint Vincent de Paul Societies, Sisters and Brothers of Charity, prisoners and those who work for charities and hospitals

Today, the Church honors Saint Vincent de Paul, considered a great apostle of charity, and who also brought a great revival to the priesthood in France in the mid 17th century.

Born to a poor family in Pouy in the southwest of France in 1581, Vincent was an intellectually gifted youth who began his theological studies at the age of fifteen and was ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty.

On a voyage to the Holy Land, Father Vincent’s ship was boarded by pirates and he was captured and sold into slavery in Africa, where he was held for two years before he converted his master to Christianity and was freed.

He returned to France and was assigned to a parish community near Paris, from where he started organizations to help the poor and destitute, nursed the sick, gave help to the uneducated and found jobs for the unemployed. He became a chaplain at the court of King Henry IV of France; and with the help of Louise de Marillac, founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity.

He founded the Congregation of Priests of the Mission and sent priests to Africa to minister to slaves, as well as ransoming the slaves for freedom. He also vigorously opposed the heresy of Jansenism and helped reform Orders of priests and religious, famously preaching retreats around France.

The humble Father Vincent often spoke about humility saying once, “The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it.”

Father Vincent died from natural causes in Paris on September 27, 1660. He was canonized a saint on June 16, 1737, by Pope Clement XII. His remains are interred in the Church of St. Vincent de Paul on the Rue de Sevres in Paris, France.

We commemorate his feastday on September 27.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Vincent de Paul)

“God our Father, You gave Vincent de Paul the courage and holiness of an apostle for the well-being of the poor and the formation of the clergy. Help us to be zealous in continuing his work.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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