A Vincentian View - Vincent's legacy is ours to preserve
St. Vincent de Paul, our Founder and Inspiration Vincent gave his energies and life to the needs of the poor in 17th century France. Together with Louise de Marillac, he organised hospitals for the sick poor, founded institutions for abandoned children, opened soup kitchens, created job training programmes, taught young women to read, improved prison conditions, and organised countless local charities in the villages throughout France.
Thousands joined him....Any organisation calling itself "Vincentian" must extend Vincent's dream to its own time and place. As a parish community we have wonderful gifts and talents which can make a difference in the lives of others. All of us at St Peter's, Phibsboro are inheritors of Vincent's legacy and vision. We are Vincentians. The challenge before us, as with every generation, is to choose whether Vincent's vision will be a piece of history or a living, breathing mission alive in its members.
Stained Glass Image located at St. Peter's Church, Phibsboro (further details)
Vincent's own words....
The poor are your masters. You are the servant. Let us work with a new love in service of the poor, looking for the most destitute and abandoned among them. Let us recognise that before God they are our Lords and masters, and we are unworthy to render them our small services.
Obstacles ? We should assist the poor in every way, and do it both by ourselves and by enlisting the help of other.
Give me persons of prayer and they will be capable of anything
A Partnership with God
My God ! What a wonderful title and what a beautiful description.. Servants of the poor ! It is the same as saying Servants of Jesus Christ, for He regards as done to Himself what is done to them. What did he do on earth but serve the poor ? Graphic courtesy of the Vincentian Centre for Church & Society
These words of St. Vincent inspire some of our work here in St. Peter's. Visit our Reaching Out pages to find out how the people of St. Peter's have made responses to the needs of the poor over the years.
A Way of Vincentian Spirituality
St. Vincent doesn't offer us a spirituality, a teaching on prayer or the spiritual life. He offers us a Spiritual Way. He shows us how we can meet our God in everyday experiences, in the events, the persons, the circumstances of our life. His Way is the way of the Church, a way of experience, of faith, of practical wisdom.... all embraced in a spirit of love.
A Way of Charity
Vincent experienced true Charity - the love that led God to send his Son among us. . . 'to bring the good news to the poor.'
A Way of Mission
Vincent responded to God's love and call, and saw himself and his followers as being sent also 'to bring good news to the poor.'
A Way of Prayer in Action
For Vincent, Prayer was a way of developing and deepening a personal relationship with God, with Jesus Christ. Vincent experienced God in his life. He had a deep faith and trust in God's providential care for him and for all people, especially the poor. He encouraged his followers to share their faith, their experience of God in prayer and in their life experience.
A Way of Practical Love
Vincent encouraged his followers to be contemplatives in action, to respond to God in practical love both of God and one's neighbours, practical love, especially of the poor.
Can you take up Vincent's challenge to follow Christ and work with 'the poor' in your day to day life ? Can you recognise Christ in the people you meet everyday: in the street; in the church pew; in your home; in your work ? How will you bring Vincent's legacy and vision to life: today; this week; in your lifetime ?
Learn about St. Vincent de Paul from the online Vincentian Encyclopedia