Vincentian Encyclopedia

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What is the Vincentian Encyclopedia?

It is a collaborative effort to create a Vincentian encyclopedia of articles and other information useful for those who follow Vincent, Louise and their spiritual companions: a resource for those who are part of the Vincentian family and for others seeking reliable information on people, topics, and organizations related to the Vincentian family.

Featured Article

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent dePaul

Vincent had a passion for the poor and a genius for networking and organizing others to meet the full range of needs, both material and spiritual, of those who live on the margins of society.

St. Vincent DePaul (1581-1660) was not only the founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) but also the Daughters of Charity, the Confraternities of Charity and Ladies of Charity (1617).

A man of deep faith and enormous creativity, he is known as the "father of the poor" and "Universal Patron of Charity". His contributions to the education of priests and services for the poor shaped our church's role in the modern world.


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25 April in History

1656 and 1659: Two councils are held under the chairmanship of Vincent de Paul and in both he emphasizes humility: "if the Daughters of Charity want God to continue His blessing on them and their Company."

1830: The solemn translation of the relics of St. Vincent de Paul took place in Paris. The day before, in the afternoon, the reliquary containing the precious remains, a silver urn, was transported from the Archbishop's residence to Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral nearby. The cathedral's portal, the nave and the choir on request of the King, have been richly decorated by draperies. Since then, the metropolitan basilica did not empty from a hungry crowd approaching the relics of "Father of the Poor. "This morning, the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Lambruschini, celebrated the Pontifical Mass in the presence of the archbishop and a dozen of bishops. At three o’clock in the afternoon today, the procession left Notre-Dame. Associations of men, numerous brother of Christian Schools, seminaries of Saint-Sulpice, Issy, Saint-Nicolas, the Holy Spirit and Irish priests of the diocese, eight hundreds of the Daughters of Charity with fifty orphans, preceded the casket carried by ten men and surrounded by the Priests of the Mission. Behind them, other two hundred Daughters of Charity advanced with fifty orphans, followed by the canons, the king's chaplains, seventeen bishops and the archbishop. While a platoon of gendarmes closed the cortege, four companies of grenadiers and four companies of voltigeurs marched along with the ranks of the clergy. Upon leaving the cathedral, the procession, singing hymns with the sound of military music, took the Petit-Pont and, and moved through the Rue Taranne, Rue du Dragon and through the intersection of the Croix-Rouge, reached Rue de Sèvres. Along the way, houses were decorated. In the chapel of the Motherhouse, where the Daughters of Charity, the priests, the chapter of Notre-Dame and the Bishops could not enter, due to ceremony requirements, the shrine was placed on a platform at the middle of the choir. Archbishop Hyacinthe-Louis de Quélen, in a touching address, said the Superior General, Fr. Dominique Salhorgne, that he was joyfully handing over the valuable deposit. The successor of Saint Vincent answered. As it was late, six o'clock in the evening Bishop Pierre Maria Cottret, bishop of Caryste, and canon of Saint-Denis, the planned eulogy couldn’t be said. The papal blessing ended this beautiful day”. In politically less troubled times, and if the press had not maintained animosity against Charles X, and therefore more or less antagonizing against a religious event authorized by the government, the multitude of curious people who, massed on the sidewalks, had watched past the impressive procession, would undoubtedly have shown their enthusiasm: they certainly showed respect but also coldness. From heights of Heaven, the humility of St. Vincent, basically, rejoice in the incomplete nature of this triumph that only a part of the people of Paris awarded to his body, to this body that his soul had so often led to this Paris which he made a Capital of Charity. (Based the book by Vandamme, Le Corps de Saint Vincent de Paul , pp. 111-123.)

1945: In Hungary, Sister Visitatrice is called in the room of "supervisor" installed at the Provincial House. A delegate of the workers' council handed her a declaration to be signed which read: "I want to enter the service of the Soviet Republic and I will commend to all its orders". If any Hungarian citizen did not sign, it would be expatriated and foreign religious people who did not wanted to sign must immediately go to the convent where they would be met in order to be repatriated. Sister Visitatrice took advice of Father Director and Prince Primate who both advised signing te declaration but resisting the first order that would have violated the rights of conscience. Prohibition was then made to the Sisters of cooking for the Vincentians and launder their clothes.

2004: Sr. Némésia Valle from the Congregation of Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret in Besançon is being beatified by pope John Paul II.

Other Dates

Vincentian People, Places and Ideas

Many people in the Society and Church of Vincent de Paul's time had an influence on his life and work.

Some of those who follow Vincent's approach to proclaiming the Gospel are recognized at Saints and Blessed by the Church.

There are reminders in many places in France of the life of Vincent de Paul.

Vincent and Louise were masters in fostering collaboration among groups that normally had little contact.

Former Superior General, Fr. Robert Maloney, CM often pointed out how the circle of poverty is increasing.

He reminded people that more than ever we need to expand the "circle of solidarity" and often invited us to be creative especially in reaching out to the young.

Reflection for Sunday Readings

Clothe Ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus lets us know that God calls us all to his kingdom. Besides, Jesus shows us how to clothe ourselves with him, so we may be of those whom God chooses.

Full reflection: Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A-2023

Dare the Wise and Learned to Be Truthful

Jesus is the sign of contradiction. He brings to light what we harbor in our hearts. He cannot but dare us to be truthful.

Full reflection: Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A-2023

Reflections' Library

Getting to Know the Vincentian Family

In the more than 300 years since Vincent and Louise died many have been inspired to walk in their footsteps. Collectively they are known as the Vincentian Family. The following section is devoted to information about what is common and unique in the ways these people walking in the "way of Vincent."

Vincentian-Setonian Researchers

The Congregation of the Mission history project described below is but one example of what the followers or Vincent and Louise are studying and writing about. Many others are researching and writing.

  • Vincentian-Setonian Researchers is the place for people to describe the work they are engaged in and the kind of things they would find helpful in their work.

Other Uses of this resource

How to post news of your Vincentian ministry

Following this link will take you to a list of Vincentian ministries.

As this encyclopedia grows in viewership your organization will receive additional visibility if it is listed here.

Using this site to collaborate on a document

Consider yourself as a member of a committee charged with writing an article on Vincentian formation.

Vincentian Formation

History of the Congregation of the Mission Project

Fr. John Rybolt, CM, and others are currently writing a projected five volume history of the Congregation of the Mission.

The project began in 1992. Upon the death of José María Romón Fuentes, C.M., Father John Rybolt was appointed to continue the work begun byJosé María Romón Fuentes, C.M., and Luigi Mezzadri, C.M.

This began in 2004, resulting first in an outline of the entire work, divided into four volumes: Vol. III: From the French Revolution to 1843; Vol. IV: 1843-1878; Vol. V: 1878-1915; Vol. VI: 1915-1984. We conclude at 1984, it being the year of approval of the new Constitutions.

The following segments are the first in a series of articles concerning the history of the Congregation following the French Revolution.

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