Apostolic Reflection with St. Vincent de Paul

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From the Statutes of the Daughters of Charity we read: “Apostolic reflection in common on events and situations that affect the service of persons who are poor enables the Sisters to discern more clearly what God is asking of them.” (S. 11)

Let us allow the words of St. Vincent to dare us to go forth to invent new ways of serving; to encounter Christ in those who are poor, who are excluded or who are at the peripheries. Through Apostolic Reflection let us discern what we need to do in order to be even closer to our brothers and sisters, those who are truly poor.

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Reflection: Vincent heard Christ’s voice in the suffering humanity of poor people, in the people hungering for bread and for the word. Seeing the poor, he found Christ. He saw Christ in the “other.”

Quotation: Let us look upon the Son of God. What a loving heart! What a flame of love! … Does a similar love exist? Who could love with such surpassing love? Nobody but the Lord…St. Vincent

Prayer: O my Savior and my God, grant us the grace to see these things with the same eye as You do! St. Vincent

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Reflection: For the Saint of Charity the Incarnation is the origin of a new relation between Christ and humanity; it is at the root of a new vital impulse…

Quotation: …if we had just a little of this love, would we remain with our arms folded? Will we allow those to perish whom we might assist? Oh, no, love cannot remain idle, it urges us to save and console others. St. Vincent

Prayer: O God, look upon us and help us to remain in Christ, to love, serve and live with those who are most poor and together to go out towards the peripheries of the world.

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Reflection: We, in loving Christ, are shaped by Him and adhere to Him, and therefore we are in a condition to love as he did, he who was the evangelizer of the poor.

Quotation: God loves the poor; consequently, He loves those who love the poor; for, when we truly love someone, we have affection for his friends and for his servants. …In this way, we have good reason to hope, that, for love of them, God will love us. St. Vincent

Prayer: 0 Savior of our souls …Imprint charity on our hearts so that we may one day be able to go to join this beautiful Company of Charity that’s in heaven. … Grant then, 0 Lord, that we may be filled with love of You, for the neighbor, and for one another. St. Vincent


Are the poor present in our prayer? Do we bring to mind faces, situations, needs?

If Vincent was present today, how would he read today’s situation in light of the Christ he followed? How would he respond to the new situations that confront us today? How will we respond?


Texts adapted from Reflection 2 for the 350th anniversary of the deaths of St. Vincent and St. Louise, “Vincentian Spirituality – an Encounter with Christ in the Poor,” Luigi Mezzadri, C.M.