Saint Vincent de Paul, Agent of Charity

September 27 is the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul. If you aren’t familiar with him, you should be! He was a devoted Christian and had great love for the poor.

Saint Vincent de Paul

Image by WikimediaImages (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Early Life

St. Vincent was born in France to a peasant family sometime between 1576-1580. His father was a farmer so he was required to help out with the cattle, sheep and other chores. However, he was found to be very intelligent and was given the opportunity to study with the Franciscans. He was ordained in 1600 but in 1605 he was captured by Turkish pirates and sold as a slave. Thankfully, he was able to escape in the year 1607.

His Ministry

St. Vincent spent his life preaching and dedicating his life to serving the poor. He visited the prisoned, opened hospitals, and performed all sorts of charitable works to ease their sufferings. He eventually created the Missionary Congregation and the Daughters of Charity. Many lay people joined him in his work and continue to follow his example of charity in organizations such as the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.

The Lesson

There are a couple of important lessons we can learn from Saint Vincent de Paul. First, he has a great love for God. He lived in a time when many priests were lukewarm and unknowledgable of their faith. His example of faith and love converted many people. We can ask ourselves: Am I lukewarm in my faith? Am I an example of faith and love to those around me? How can I do better?

Second, he was gentle and loving to those who were largely marginalized by the community of his time. He reached out to those in prison. He cared for those who were sick. He loved the unloveable. We are probably not called to give our lives in service at such a great scale but we can ask ourselves: How do I treat those around me? Am I gentle and kind? Do I make the effort to reach out to those who are lonely, poor, or not someone in need? How can I do better? Is there a St. Vincent de Paul Society nearby where I can volunteer?

As we celebrate the memorial of St. Vincent, let us ak his intercession that we may love our Lord and our neighbor in a deeper, more significant way.

Further Reading

Check out the following sites to learn more about Saint Vincent. He had quite a life and my post only touches on the highlights.

NewAdvent.org

Stvincentdepaul.org Eatontown

Piercedhearts.org

Catholic.org

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Psst: Just a reminder, there is only a couple of days (until September 30) left to make a difference for those who are facing tremendous challenges due to the recent natural disasters. You can grow your faith and help those in need at the same time. – a win/win!

Saint and Feast Days in September 2016

Tomorrow is September 1st and it is time for the list of saints for the month. I can’t believe school will be starting back up in just a few days (for us in NJ). We had a wonderful summer this year and I hate to see it end! Still, I am looking forward to fall and all that comes with it. 🙂

Saint and Feast days in Septmember 2016

Image by LoggaWiggler (2012) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Saints and Feasts

September 2: First Friday devotions (optional)

September 3:  St Gregory the Great, Pope & doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

September 3: First Saturday devotions (optional)

September 8: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (feast)

September 9: St. Peter Claver, priest (obligatory memorial)

September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary (optional memorial)

September 13: St. John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

September 14: The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (feast)

September 15: Our Lady of Sorrows (obligatory memorial)

September 16: St. Cornelius, Pope and Cyprian, bishop, martyrs (optional memorial)

September 17: St. Robert Bellarmine, bishop and doctor of the church (optional memorial)

September 19: St. Januarius, bishop and martyr (optional memorial)

September 21: St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist (feast)

September 23: St. Pius of Pietrelcina, priest “St. Padre Pio” (obligatory memorial)

September 26: Sts. Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (optional memorial)

September 27: St. Vincent de Paul, priest (obligatory memorial)

September 28: St. Wenceslaus, martyr (optional memorial)

September 28: St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, martyrs (optional memorial)

 September 29: Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels (feast)

September 30: St. Jerome, priest and doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

Other Dates to Note

Every Saturday is traditionally dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

September is traditionally dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

September 5: Labor Day (USA and Canada)

September 11: Patriot Day (USA), Remembrance of the attack at the Twin Towers, Pentagon, and the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.

September 11: Grandparents day

September 22: Autumn begins

For a printable version of this list click here. (No login required)

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Tweetable: Saint and Feast Days in September 2016

10 Saints in Heaven You Should Get to Know

All Saint's Day

(Inspired from RAnn’s latest Question of the Week, and because it is All Saint’s Day (again), I am re-posting this list of saints you should get to know. This list is still relevant and if you haven’t gotten to know them yet you should now. 🙂 )

In honor of All Saint’s Day, I thought I’d share some well-known and not-so-well known saints that would be worth getting to know. 🙂 These saints have been lifted up as examples for us by the church because of their faith, love for God and heroic virtue.

1. St. Joseph. The foster-father of Jesus and husband of Mary is the patron of workers, families and fathers. We need his example in today’s world where families are under (spiritual) attack.

2. St. Jeanne Jugan. I’ve talked about Saint Jeanne Jugan several times before. Her humility, faith and forbearance in difficulties during her lifetime is truly a testimony to God’s goodness. I’m not sure if she is an “official” patron of the elderly, but she should be. 🙂

3. St. Jose Maria Escriva. St. Jose Maria is the founder of Opus Dei, a Catholic institution devoted to helping people grow in the relationship with God through their everyday lives. He had written many books in his lifetime and I love his practical, common sense way of lifting the soul up to God in the midst of all that we do in our lives.

4. St. Faustina. Saint Faustina is known as the “Apostle of Mercy” due to her revelations of Jesus and His infinite mercy. If you haven’t done so, you should really read parts or all of her diary, “Divine Mercy in My Soul.”

5. St. Martin de Porres. When I was discerning a vocation, years ago, a sister I knew had great devotion to St. Martin de Porres. She lent me a book about his life and from then on I’ve developed a devotion to him as well. He was one of those saints who practiced severe penances and received extraordinary graces, which most of us are not called to; but, we can imitate his love of prayer, sacrifice and love for the poor. (FYI: His feast day is this Thursday.)

6. St. Bridget of Sweden. A wife and mother of 8 children, St Bridget had great devotion to the Passion of the Lord. She is the one who received the “15 Prayers” found in the Pieta Prayer Book.

7. St. Vincent de Paul. Did you know that the body of St. Vincent de Paul is somewhat incorrupt? It is and when I lived in France years ago, I was able to pray at his shrine. He is known for his great love for the poor and the St. Vincent de Paul Society continues his work today.

8. St. Agnes. St. Agnes is a great saint for your daughters. She is an example of purity and love of God and gave her life rather than sin!

9. St. Dominic Savio. Where Saint Agnes is a great saint for your daughters, St. Dominic Savio is the saint for your sons. He, too, is an example of great purity and custody of the eyes. He also had a deep devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist. His motto: “Death, but not sin!”

10. St. Margaret-Mary Alacoque. Saint Margaret-Mary was the apostle of devotion of the Sacred Heart. She suffered much in her life; and yet, she acted with charity, humility and prayer toward those who persecuted. When we are wronged, especially deeply, it is SO HARD to forgive the person (or persons) who have hurt us. So maybe, besides devotion to the Sacred Heart, prayer and silence, St. Margaret can teach us how to forgive.

(P.S. I purposely left out the Blessed Mother because, well, it should be a given that we honor Mary and try to live by her example!)

Who’s your favorite not-too-well-known saint? Do share in the comments so we can get to know them. 🙂

****All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation so don’t forget to make time to go to Mass!

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Want to inspire your faith? Get to know these saints.

10 Saints in Heaven You Should get to Know.