Monday, September 27, 2010

Feast of St. Vincent de Paul: September 27th

Patron Saint of Charitable Societies

Many parishes have a St. Vincent de Paul Society. It is a wonderful group to be involved in, esp. these days with so many out of work or down on their luck and in need of help. A collection just held was, School Supplies, for children going back to school and in need of supplies. SVDP programs help with food and/or small finances such as paying a utility bill. They can not sustain an individual or family for a great length of time, but long enough to give some immediate relief. The most active time for this society is Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter when food baskets (toys/gifts included at Christmas) are donated by parishioners and given to those in need.  Many SVDP programs have a food pantry and are always seeking food items. Check with your local parishes to see when they collect and what they need the most. Please don't forget that people need food even in the summer. This is when cupboards are bare because many are on vacation. Food and monetary donations are always appreciated. Christ asks us to take care of those less fortunate...let us all make an effort to do so. God Bless!
St. Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580. He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs. Such had been his progress in four years that a gentleman chose him as subpreceptor to his children, and he was thus enabled to continue his studies without being a burden to his parents. In 1596, he went to the University of Toulouse for theological studies, and there he was ordained priest in 1600.
In 1605, on a voyage by sea from Marseilles to Narbonne, he fell into the hands of African pirates and was carried as a slave to Tunis. His captivity lasted about two years, until Divine Providence enabled him to effect his escape. After a brief visit to Rome he returned to France, where he became preceptor in the family of Emmanuel de Gondy, Count of Goigny, and General of the galleys of France. In 1617, he began to preach missions, and in 1625, he lay the foundations of a congregation which afterward became the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, so named on account of the Prioryof St. Lazarus, which the Fathers began to occupy in 1633.
It would be impossible to enumerate all the works of this servant of God. Charity was his predominant virtue. It extended to all classes of persons, from forsaken childhood to old age. The Sisters of Charity also owe the foundation of their congregation to St. Vincent. In the midst of the most distracting occupations his soul was always intimately united with God. Though honored by the great ones of the world, he remained deeply rooted in humility. The Apostle of Charity, the immortal Vincent de Paul, breathed his last in Paris at the age of eighty. His feast day is September 27th. He is the patron of charitable societies.

Article St. Vincent de Paul  found on Catholic Online

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