Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Vincent de Paul was born in Pouy in les Landes on april 24, 1581. He soon began to pursue the path to priesthood. Ordained a priest at the age of 19, he later stated : “if i had known what the priesthood was when i had the temerity to enter it as i know it now, i would have much more preferred to labor on the land that to engage myself in such an awesome state.” Urged by Pierre de Bérulle to do so, Vincent took charge of a parish that was in very bad shape. In five months, he revitalized it : “behold a great charity, but it is poorly organized.” While evangelizing the countryside, he discovered the extreme importance of insuring the formation of priests.
He did not forget to put this lesson into practice by founding The Seminary of Saint Lazarus in Paris. He organized and directed the “tuesday conferences,” in which M. Jean-jacques olier participated. An apostle of prayer and contemplation, Vincent de Paul became the spiritual director of Father Olier. Vincent founded two institutes, the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity. He died in Paris on september 27, 1660. His heart, immensely open towards the most downtrodden, and his vision of the priest oriented towards his mission, constitute a most attractive model of the priesthood and the christian life. M. Vincent still remains alive through all the works that claim his spirituality.