Let us ask St. Vincent de Paul to guide our charitable efforts
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul (September 27, 2018): ECCL 1:2-11; PS 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14,17; LK 9:7-9
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
This feast day honors the patron of all charitable societies.
St. Vincent de Paul was born in Gascony, France, about 1580, to a family with a small farm. He did well in school and became a tutor, which helped to support his seminary education. In time, he realized that the spiritual concerns of poor people, especially those in the country, were not being met. Working with the financial assistance of well-to-do women, he started to care for the sick, orphans, slaves and other outcasts. Today’s readings, remind us of the importance of depending on God and doing all He asks of us throughout our lives. “Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Relent, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!” (Psalm 90:12-13)
He founded an order of priests, the Congregation of the Mission, to help needy persons. St. Louise de Marillac joined St. Vincent de Paul to establish a religious order of women, the Daughters of Charity. He also encouraged the development of parish organizations devoted to charitable works. He led a deep spiritual life, but understood that helping others sometimes took precedence. Vincent said, “If a needy person requires… help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer.” Let us imitate this saint’s deep concern for the soul and the body of every person we meet.
Suggested missionary action: We can imitate the charity of St. Vincent by treating all people, especially those who are relegated to the margins of society, with love and respect – starting by really seeing them, and then acting on their behalf.