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Today is the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, a French priest who dedicated his whole life to serving the poor. He is known as the “Great Apostle of Charity” and founded, with the help of Saint Louise de Marillac, the women’s religious order the Daughters of Charity. Their chief concern was serving the poor through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Saint Vincent de Paul received much of the strength he needed to serve the poor from his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He once said, “Let’s look at the Son of God; what a heart of charity he had; what a fire of love!”
He was a firm believer in the need for a heart filled with love in order to go out and serve in love: “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and, ordinarily, exterior actions give witness to what is within the person; those who have true charity interiorly will manifest it externally. It’s characteristic of love to show respect and kindness to the person who is loved.”
Saint Vincent teaches us that we cannot endlessly serve others without first immersing ourselves in the heart of Christ; the source of love itself.
Let us offer this day our prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys, and sufferings in union with the Heart of Jesus, preparing us to go forth to be missionaries of his love and mercy to all.
- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)