Thursday, 28 September 2017

# Saints

Saint Vincent de Paul

A portrait of St. Vincent de Paul
by Simon François de Tours (17th century)




The 27th of September is the feast day of Saint Vincent de Paul. He is the patron saint of charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; Madagascar; prisoners; Richmond, Virginia; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory; Vincentian Service Corps; and volunteers.



Saint Vincent de Paul was born in 1581 and died in 1660. He was born in France and belonged to a peasant farming family. He grew up herding sheep but showed to be good in his studies. His father sold the family oxen to fund Saint Vincent de Paul' education in the seminary and was ordained in 1600. After his ordination, Saint Vincent worked in Toulouse, working as a tutor so he can pay for his doctorate. He was captured by Turkish pirates in 1605 while travelling by sea and was brought to Tunis in Africa where he was sold into slavery. He was sold into slavery four times, but escaped in 1607 with his master whom he converted to the faith. He went to Rome where he continued studying and then returned to France. He ministered the nobility as a parish priest but encounters with the destitute people gave him the inspiration to work among the poor and marginalised. To help gather funds for the missionary projects, he formed a group of wealthy women in the parish. This group became the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. The Vincentians, an order or priests was also founded by Saint Vincent, who devoted themselves to the Evangelical Councils, serving in the small towns and villages. He ministered to convicts, built a hospital, and educated priests, in the process renewing the faith of France.

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