On the 27th of September, we celebrate as a Church the feast of St Vincent de Paul. This great French saint is a living icon of a love which is ever more creative.
If one looks deeply into his holy and charitable life one right away notices how much this golden hearted man’s life was profoundly united with Christ’s most loving heart. Vincent de Paul was born in the small southern French town of Pouy (later on it was renamed Saint Vincent de Paul in his honour) on 24 April 1581. He was ordained as a priest in 1600 at the very young age of 19.
From his personal experience of Christ’ love for him, Vincent came to realize that the love of Christ is for everyone, irrespective of that person’s social status and position. Thus, as a young man, we find him ministering to both the wealthy as well as the powerful. Nevertheless, his installation as chaplain to a poor parish, and to galley prisoners, was for him a great pastoral conversion. From his experience with the suffering and excluded people, Vincent started comprehending that his vocation was principally that of working with those most marginalised and powerless. He was badly needed with the people of the periphery.