Sept 27th - Vincent De Paul
The St. Vincent De Paul Society was not started by St. Vincent but his life and work inspires both its inception and continued activity.
"The Society of St. Vincent de Paul began in Paris, France, in 1833 when a young law student at the Sorbonne, Frédéric Ozanam, was challenged during a debate to demonstrate what he and his fellow Catholic students were personally doing to help the poor in Paris. Ozanam's reaction was immediate. Within weeks, Ozanam, at 20 years of age, and six of his peers formed the first "Conference of Charity."...At the prompting of Monsieur Emmanuel Bailly and Sister Rosalie Rendu, superior of a convent of the Daughters of Charity, Ozanam soon placed the conference under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul who had spent his life in 16th century France serving the poor." (From the Society of St. Vincent de Paul website)
Vincent was born poor, and as often happens in the Church it is not only wealth that gets you ordained (especially after the reforms of Trent) and so the opportunity for education and service are open to all. Not that wealth and privilege nor poverty install people less worthy of the office, neither is an impediment to true service.
He was captured by Turkish pirates and sold into slavery freed from that service only after he had converted his owner to Christianity. From there he returned to Paris to serve as chaplain too the king, yet spent much of his devotion on serving the poor and the outcast.
We must serve always and so serve where we are - whether we want to be there or not!
You say you are not happy in the Mission. That, in itself, is not a sign that God does not want you there. Perfect contentment is never to be found, in whatever place and condition one may be. This life is full of annoyances and troubles both of mind and of body; it is a state of continual agitation, which snatches peace of mind from those who think they possess it and eludes those who seek it. Did Our Lord lead an easy life? Did He not experience the trials and tribulations we fear? He was the Man of Sorrows, and we want to be exempt from suffering! He speaks to us of the Cross only so that we might have a share in His glory, and we would wish to follow Him without enduring anything!
-- Letter to Stanislaw Zelazewski
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