The strength of Faith: St. John Gabriel Perboyre, martyr


“Our vocation is to go, not just to one parish, not just to one diocese, but all over the world; and do what? To set people’s hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did. He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with His love.” (CCD 12; 207, 30 May, 1659)

In Lumen Fidei (#16) we read: “Yet it is precisely in contemplating Jesus’ death that faith grows stronger and receives a dazzling light; then it is revealed as faith in Christ’s steadfast love for us, a love capable of embracing death to bring us salvation. This love, which did not recoil before death in order to show its depth, is something I can believe in; Christ’s total self-gift overcomes every suspicion and enables me to entrust myself to him completely.”

perb36Over centuries members of the Vincentian family have lived their Faith to the full, even to the point of death. They witnessed to the life of Christ who gave his life that we might live. Their Faith was strong enough that they were willing to give up their lives rather than betray their Faith. On September 11 we remember and celebrate the life of St. John Gabriel Perboyre, Vincentian missionary to China. His life is a stellar example of one whose aim was to “imitate Christ” in the way he assisted the poor (cf CCD XI;98). He is an inspiration to us all!

Read a short biography and also view a short video about his life.