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Chateau des Gondi

The General Confession at Gannes

As part of his role of Chaplain to the de Gondis, Vincent visited the estates of the Gondi Family. One day in January 1617, he accompanied Mme de Gondi to her Chateau in Folleville in Picardy (ruins of the Chateau pictured at right). From nearby Gannes, two leagues away, came the news that a dying peasant wished to see M. Vincent. Immediately he hurried to the sick man's bedside. He sat down by the sick man's bed to hear his confession. He urged the man to make a general confession of all the sins of his life. Later the man recounted to Mme de Gondi that he had been carrying heavy burdens all his life which he had never confessed, and might have been damned but for this general confession.

Foundation of the Congregation of the Mission

As a result, Vincent, a few days later on January 25 at Folleville,1617, preached on the subject of making a general confession, and was amazed at the number of people who responded. The Jesuits had to be called in to help! This date, the feast of the Conversion of St Paul, was regarded by Vincent as the beginning of the Congregation of the Mission. Although the Congregation of the Mission was not formally set up until 1625, January 25, 1617 is still celebrated by Vincentians as the Foundation Day of the Congregation. On the left is shown the church at Folleville, and at right the interior of the church.



Folleville, Vincentian Encyclopedia (French Version)