This month we celebrate the feast days of our founder Frederic on September 9 and our patron St. Vincent on September 27. Frederic, along with a group of friends sought to grow in holiness by the activation of their faith. They were instructed to seek spiritual guidance in their ministry. They met as friends to discuss and debate their actions and how it helped them to grow spiritually. They wished to live the gospel values, growing in relationship to one another and to those they ministered to. They were guided by the wisdom of St. Vincent de Paul, who recognized that growth in holiness came by growing closer to Christ – and Christ was to be found in the poor and those in need. And so he went to the poor – not for the poor but for Christ. He recognized that it was Jesus – God himself – who was the source of all goodness and all that he had. He sought fervently to grow in the virtues of humility, simplicity, gentleness, selflessness and zeal – particularly in humility. He sought submission to God in humility that we might come to trust completely in His Divine Providence. His wisdom and vision inspired Frederic to found the Society and to join the network of Vincentian organizations dedicated to holiness through care for the less fortunate.
As Vincentians, we join ourselves to Frederic and St. Vincent, accepting in humility the charism they hand on to us. We accept the Rule as our guiding principles, looking always to follow the Vincentian Pathway growing in holiness, living in friendship, and ministering to neighbors in need. We invite others to join us, but have a responsibility to communicate clearly and effectively the vocation to which we invite them. Likewise, we should constantly discern how God is speaking to us through the ministry we do. Am I more interested in helping the poor or growing spiritually? Do I embrace the virtue of humility, constantly seeking God’s will for me? Do I accept with zeal, obedience to the Rule, and the FULL Vincentian charism to which I am called as a vocation and way of life?
Lord Jesus, give me the grace to gladly accept all that you ask me to do. Grant that I might grow in humility so as to embrace all that you ask of me in SVdP. Help me to become part of a network of friends living gospel values for your glory! Together, let us open our hearts of mercy and compassion to those whom you bring before us. We pray all of this in your name. Amen