07 Channels of Charity! - Julius D’Souza

posted Sep 19, 2018, 9:04 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Sep 19, 2018, 9:04 AM ]
Say, "Society of St Vincent de Paul, or just SVP," and immediately leaps to mind an image of the poor or of individuals helping them. Period! We present to you some facts about our patron, St Vincent de Paul, our founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and the Vincentians in Mumbai.

St Vincent de Paul was born on April 24, 1581, in France. An intelligent child, his education was entrusted to the Franciscans. There, a lawyer, Monsieur de Comet, inspired Vincent to become a priest. Vincent was ordained at 19, and graduated in 1604 from the University of Toulouse. From 1609-1617, he craved for wealth and position. He travelled widely, was taken prisoner, sold as a slave, escaped and went through a lot of hardships.

Ultimately, in 1617, Vincent experienced his conversion. A few days later, on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, he preached an electrifying sermon called "the first sermon of the mission" on how to make a general confession. His next undertaking was to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor. Eight years later, he founded the Congregation of the Mission, and established in and around Paris, associations of lay women, called Confraternities of Charity, who took care of the sick. He then co-founded with St Louise de Marillac, the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. It was 1633.

Both the Congregation of Missions and Daughters of Charity expanded, and were in demand. There were no seminaries. Priest aspirants would intern with local bishops, and were then ordained. Vincent established the first-ever seminary, and in total, established 18 seminaries in 1636. Everything that he said and did originated from the spirit of charity preached by Our Lord, that Vincent diligently practised. He died in 1660, and was canonised in 1737.