The 400 th birthday of the vincentian charism
Father Robert Maloney, International Spiritual Advisor of CGI gives us his spiritual reading for the 400 th birthday of the vincentian charism
"St. Vincent always regarded 1617 as the birthday of his Family. Even though his three principal foundations had distinct juridical birth dates – the Confraternities of Charity in 1617, the Congregation of the Mission in 1625, and the Daughters of Charity in 1633 – Vincent consistently looked back at 1617 as the year when everything began. He had two experiences that year which transformed his life.
The first took place in January in Gannes-Folleville, north of Paris. While accompanying Madame de Gondi as she visited workers on her family’s land, he was called to the bedside of a dying peasant who had a reputation for being holy. Vincent encouraged him to make a general confession. The peasant poured out his heart, confessing shocking sins that he had held back for years. When he received absolution, he felt liberated and filled with joy. He called his family, neighbors, and Madame de Gondi herself into his home and told them his story."
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