Sunday, June 1, 2014


St Vincent was born on 24th April 1581 in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France. He was ordained a priest at the early age of 20.
In 1605 on a voyage by sea from Marseilles, he was taken captive by Barbary pirates and carried off to Tunis, there Vincent was auctioned off as a slave and spent two years in bondage.
His first master was a fisherman, but Vincent was unsuitable for the work because of seasickness and was soon sold.  His next master was a physician and alchemist and inventor.  Vincent was fascinated by his work and was taught how to prepare and administer his master's remedies.  The fame of Vincent's master attracted the attention of Sultan Achmet the first who summoned him to Istanbul.  During the voyage the old man died and Vincent was sold once again.
Vincent's new master was a former priest and Franciscan from Nice named Guillaume Gautier.  He had converted to Islam in order to gain freedom from slavery and was living in the mountains with three wives.  The second wife [a Muslim by birth] was drawn to Vincent because of his great holiness and charity, and questioned him about his faith.  She became convinced that his faith was true and admonished her husband for renouncing his Christianity.  He became remorseful and decided to escape back to France with his slave Vincent. They had to wait 10 months but finally they secretly boarded a small boat and crossed the Mediterranean landing in Aigues-Mortes on the 28th June 1607.
This is just one adventure in the life of this great saint.  Charity was his main virtue it extended to all classes of persons from childhood to old age.
Though honoured by the great ones of the world, he remained deeply rooted in humility.
He founded the Congregation of Priests of the Missions [Lazarists] and, together with St Louise de Marillac, the Daughters of Charity.  These congregations together with the well-known society of St Vincent de Paul continue his charitable works today.
St Vincent de Paul died on the 27th September 1660.
St Vincent de Paul was canonized by pope Clement X11 in 1737.

No comments:

Post a Comment