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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Vincent de Paul

“Extend mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His mercy from us?” St. Vincent de Paul.

St. Vincent de Paul was born of poor parents in France in 1580. He was educated by Franciscan Fathers as a boy and ordained a priest at age 19. Among his chief reasons for becoming a priest was his desire to get an office in the Church from which he could obtain enough money to retire early, return home, and provide for his family. Using his status as a priest to escape dull village life of southern France, Vincent went to Paris in 1608. He spent many years with high society where he was welcomed because of his engaging charm and notable social skills. While in Paris he came under the influence of a wise spiritual guide who gradually caused him to see that helping others was more important than helping himself. This marked a turning point in Vincent’s spiritual journey.

Vincent worked as a parish priest for years near Paris. Wealthy men and women came to him, expressing a wish to amend their lives. He organized them into a Confraternity of Charity and set them to work helping the poor, the enslaved, the abandoned, the sick, the unemployed, etc. Vincent established the Congregation of the Mission in 1625 as part of an effort to evangelize rural populations and foster vocations to remedy a shortage of priests.

The Ladies of Charity, a coalition of noblewomen Vincent had organized to serve poor people, had grown and spread, as had the Confraternities of Charity. Vincent found it impossible to oversee all these groups, so he turned to his friend, Louise de Marillac, who shared his ideals. Young women from rural areas began to appear, ready to assist. In 1633, they became the nucleus of a new type of religious community, the Daughters of Charity. They gave their lives to the service of the poor, sick, and prisoners.

Vincent continued his work until his death on September 27, 1660. He was canonized a saint on June 16, 1737. He was renowned for his compassion, humility, and generosity. He was a man of action, rather than of theory. For this reason he is known as the “Great Apostle of Charity.” Blessed Frederic Ozanam formed the organization, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which today serves millions of needy people worldwide.

Prayer to Saint Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent, patron of all charitable associations and father of those who are in misery, come to our assistance. Obtain from our Lord help for the poor, relief for the infirm, consolation for the afflicted, protection for the abandoned, a spirit of generosity for the rich, grace of conversion for sinners, zeal for priests, peace for the Church, tranquility and order for all nations, and salvation for them all. May we be united in the life to come, by your intercession, and experience joy, gladness, and everlasting happiness. Amen.

Quotes by St. Vincent de Paul:

“The poor have much to teach you. You have much to learn from them.”

“Go to the poor; you will find God.”

“The poor are your masters. You are the servant.”

“It is from your hands that our Lord, in the person of the sick, seeks relief.”

“Let us love God my brothers, let us love God. But let it be with the strength of our arms and the sweat of our brow.”

Send your intentions to be remembered in the Masses offered at our Lady's Shrine.