Abelly: Book 2/Chapter 13/Introduction

From Vincentian Encyclopedia

We could well include among the great accomplishments of Monsieur Vincent his tenure on the king's Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs, and the services he rendered His Majesty. Besides the importance of the matters confided to him, which he always handled well, he showed on these occasions his strong character and eminent virtue. He should be the more appreciated in this, since one rarely finds in one person what was seen in him, that is, ready access to sovereigns coupled with a perfect detachment from all worldly interests. He combined political prudence with Christian simplicity, a great vigilance and active involvement in exterior concerns and an interior recollection and intimate union with God, the management of diverse matters of great importance and an uprightness never in doubt, the coming and going of all sorts of persons who came to see him, coupled with a serenity of disposition which showed itself in kindness and affability towards everyone. Lastly, he manifested a mind capable of the most important decisions in the service of his prince coupled with a will totally penetrated with the sentiments of a solid and perfect devotion to God.

These qualities of Monsieur Vincent were astonishing to those who saw them firsthand. In this chapter we will give some examples of them, even though he was reticent in speaking of his years of service to His Majesty. He held to the maxim once taught by an angel, Sacramentum Regis abscondere bonum est ["A king's secret it is prudent to keep"]. [1] We have been able to learn from other sources some episodes of the time of service of this great servant of God, whom divine Providence had led to this important position. Since all he did was under the inspiration of divine grace, we may speak openly of it, for the same heavenly spirit mentioned earlier also said: opera Dei revelare et confiteri honorificum est ["but the works of God are to be declared and made known"]. [2]


  1. Tob 12:7.
  2. Tob 12:7.

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