POLITICAL CHARITY AND VINCENTIAN SPIRITUALITY TODAY

By Charles Pan, CM[1]

PREFACE: THE STORY OF MY VINCENTIAN VOCATION

Before I get into my topic, I would like to first share with all of you some of my own life experience. It was not until the last year of my Senior High School that I first came to know something about the Catholic Church. Fr. Hermans (a Dutch Vincentian priest working in Taiwan) was the one who brought and lead me to really know Jesus Christ. It was because of this Jesus crucified that I was attracted to want to be close to the altar and which inevitably lead me to become interested the Priesthood.

Because of my relationship with Fr. Hermans, I chose to enter the Vincentians. And during my years as a seminarian preparing for the Priesthood I often asked myself the question: “Why has God called me to enter the Priesthood as a Vincentian?” For a long time, I prayed about this as I continued my studies. And still I was unable to really meet the Heart of Jesus. It wasn’t until my 2nd year of Theology – during the summer – when I was sent to a local hospital to take part in a CPE (CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION) program – that I began to see the light. In the hospital where I worked, I came in contact with some of the poorest of the poor in Taiwan. It was in their presence that I lost the security of all my studies. Why? Because no one of these poor souls in this situation understood anything about the Theology I was professing. It was here I lost the once safe and secure identity that I once possessed because in this situation no one really knew who I was. It was here that I lost my own sense of dignity because no one respected me simply because of the title I held. Finally, it was until I was rejected by a patient in that hospital 12 times that I saw myself as a big failure. And as I sat in the big lobby of that hospital ‘licking my own wounds ‘ and feeling sorry for myself I surprisingly discovered that in meeting many homeless people sleeping in the park or out on the street I was no different than they were. It was in this situation that I really experienced for the first time my own deep poverty. This kind of poverty caused me to feel very uncomfortable, uneasy, and helpless. Although in my own reasoning I clearly knew that Jesus became one of us and was incarnated in the most useless and worthless of human beings, still in my own heart it was difficult to understand and fully comprehend why Jesus would incarnate Himself in these people. Every cell in my body was reacting against all that Jesus did in accepting the most pitiable of people. Helping or reaching out to these kinds of people, I can easily do. But accepting the reality that I am one of these rejected people and the poorest of the poor and that Jesus came to save and show compassion to me too was literally impossible for me to fathom and accept. Yet Jesus had chosen this way to show me how to reach out with love to others.

After some time of this seemingly violent resistance and struggle within me I was finally able to accept. I was able to experience Jesus using this means to help me to rid myself of the controlling pride that tried to make the world revolve around me – and only me. And it would allow me to bring the love of Jesus – and all that entails — to others. Finally, that person who rejected me 12 times was the one who helped me to see for myself that I had really met and experienced that Jesus who was born in the stable on that first Christmas day. And the Lord accepted my offering of myself in all my emptiness in the same way that He accepted offering the poorest of the poor. Now I know why God has called me. Now I know why God brought me in the spirit of Vincent de Paul to be present among the poorest of poor. It was in this experience that my own prayer could really touch the heart of Jesus in these people.

It is in our intimate and concrete relationship with the poor in our daily lives that we come to recognize the spirituality of what a real Vincentian should be.

INTRODUCTION

As Father Dodin wrote in his classic work Vincent De Paul and Charity: A Contemporary Portrait of His Life and Apostolic Spirit, “Vincent would have been surprised to hear anyone speak of his spiritual doctrine. Except for the small booklet, The Common Rules or Constitutions of the Congregation of the Mission, he was reluctant to publish his ideas and convictions. Even these Rules were not the result of his own individual effort according to his way of thinking, for they had evolved from the experience of his religious community. Like most founders, he wanted only to offer his Missionaries a summary of the gospels and point out to them a quick, simple and sure way to live them. Pascal wrote, ‘We were expecting to find an author, and we found a man.’”[2] Indeed, unlike Ignatius of Loyola, who gave to the people the Spiritual Exercises, Vincent de Paul did not outline his method or codify his spirituality. The one exception was The Common Rules or Constitutions of the Congregation of the Mission. They are a goldmine of action of charity. He wrote them for the Congregation of the Mission only after the experience of living it for thirty-three years, as in the Common Rules of the Congregation of the Mission, Vincent himself mentioned that “it is now bout thirty-three years since our Congregation was founded, but I have not had our rules printed for you before now. …I wanted to take our Savior as a model. He put things into practice before he made them part of his teaching.” This experience of life of charity expresses his whole program of life, his life shows us a way of charity. And from the fruit born by the spirit of Vincent, the life of Vincent is not limited to his earthly biography but also include his being and working in God after death. The people still constantly experience the gift of his charity which he pours out from the depths of his life. He is the man of charity, or rather to say that he is the Apostle of Charity.[3] In his first encyclical letter, Pope Benedict XVI enumerates Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac among the saints who “stand out as lasting models of social charity for all people of good will. The saints are the true bearers of light within history, for they are men and women of faith, hope and love.”[4]

As an Apostle of Charity, Jesus Christ was the rule of the life of Vincent de Paul, and was considered as the center of his life and his whole activity. Jesus Christ is a model of perfect charity.

THE POLITICAL CHARITY OF JESUS CHRIST

Jesus Christ is the sacrament of God the Father. The filial union of Jesus with the Father is expressed in the perfect love which he also made the principal commandment of the Gospel: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Mt 22:37-38). As we know, to this commandment Jesus attached a second, “like the first,” that of love of one’s neighbor (cf. Mt 22:39). He proposed himself as a model of this love: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34) He taught and gave his followers a love patterned on his own model.[5]

Jesus did not live on his own behalf, but so that the world might be saved and the Kingdom of God might come. He said: “I came that men may have life, and have it abundantly.” (Jn 10:10) Christ Jesus, “who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.” He was God’s servant, certainly, but at the same time servant to his brothers and sisters, to give them life and to fulfill the kingdom of God among them by showing them the love of God.

In a foundational text from St. Luke’s gospel (4:16-21), we witness Jesus on a Sabbath day in his hometown Nazare. “As he usually did,” Jesus came to the synagogue for worship and he was invited to read. He took the scroll of Isaiah the prophet, searched out its mighty missionary text (61:1-2) and proclaimed: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord.” Then, after a dramatic pause, Jesus made the astonishing announcement: “This text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening.” (Luke 4:18-21)

As Superior General, Fr. Gregory Gay comments about this text, “Here we have a passionate social justice text, which Jesus deliberately chose to launch his work. So passionate was Jesus about justice and God’s Kingdom, that he wanted the heavenly harvest to begin right here on earth, in and through him.” The Kingdom of God is what life would be like on earth if God were in charge. It is God’s dream, God’s passion. Jesus was so passionate about fulfilling God’s dream that he lived and died for it. It is the dream for this earth of Vincent de Paul and of ours.

APOSTLE OF CHARITY: THE WAY OF VINCENT DE PAUL

1. The beginning:[6]

Before the foundation of the Congregation of the mission in 1625, until then, in spite of the wonderful interior journey and fruitful work, Vincent’s life was defined in relationship to Bérulle and the Gondi family and temporary appointments arising from these relationships, such as his position as chaplain and almoner to Henry IV’s former wife, Queen Marguerite de Valois; his service in the parishes of Clichy, Folleville, and Châtillon-les-Dombes, and his role as chaplain general to the galleys and missions on the Gondi estates. His one lasting initiative, prior to the founding of the Mission, was the establishment of the Confraternities of Charity beginning at Châtillon in 1617. With the founding of the Mission and the care of the Confraternities of Charity before him, his life’s work was in place.

2. The foundation of the congregation of the mission:[7]

Once Vincent had gotten the aid from the Gondis to found the Congregation of the Mission, all his efforts went into obtaining official recognition. The archbishop of Paris recognized the new community on 24 April 1626. Seven years later, after considerable negotiation and a number of difficulties, the Congregation of the Mission received papal approval. The congregation grew slowly at first. In the early years of the congregation they had to rely on their neighbors to keep an eye their residence, the Collège des Bon Enfants. By 1632 seven priests formed the congregation and they moved to larger quarters, the immense priory of Saint Lazare.

3. The Response of new situation:[8]

During these years, the development of the Confraternities of Charity occupied a place of primacy along with the development of the mission. From their beginning at Châtillon, the charities were organized at the local level and, consequently had the flexibility to respond to new situation as they arose. Beyond caring for the sick poor, they arose. Beyond caring for the sick poor, as they had been founded to do, they began to respond to the needs of beggars, then of prisoners and galley convicts, and eventually of young indigent couples and victims of famine and war.

4. The expansion of the work:[9]

In 1628, the bishop of Bauvais decided to have a few days of retreat for priesthood candidates to prepare them for ordination. He had come to this decision in conversation with Vincent, whom he then asked to take responsibility for the retreat. This was a great innovation at the time. In 1633, in collaboration with some priests of Paris, Vincent established the Tuesday Conferences. Vincent chaired the meetings, and after a period of prayer the priests shared their thoughts and convictions about what it meant to be a priest. Their interaction was mutually encouraging; on leaving these meetings, all felt charged with renewed zeal. The Tuesday Conferences bore great fruit in promoting high ideals of priesthood and in fostering mutual support among the priests. Many future bishops attended the conferences, which gave Vincent an opportunity to become acquainted with them firsthand as it gave them an opportunity to deepen and purify their priestly commitments.

5. The foundation of the Daughters of Charity:[10]

The work of charity what was needed was a heart, a soul, and an unconditional fidelity. In respond to this need, Louis de Marillac recognized her mission and eventually, with Vincent, founded the Daughters of Charity. Vincent and Louise became father and mother to the Daughters of Charity.

6. The new and Urgent Work:[11]

In 1638, Vincent undertook the care of abandoned children. In the beginning Vincent entrusted some of the children to Louise, and before long Vincent and Louise embraced the entire work. A dozen Daughters of Charity were assigned to this work and thirteen houses were built to receive the children.

7. The first great crusade of charity:[12]

At the beginning of 1639, Vincent became aware of the extreme distress of the province of Lorraine, ravaged by war, famine and plague. He appealed to the Ladies of Charity, and during the next ten years he did not stop sending help. Centers of assistance were set up and funded to provide food and shelter for the hungry and homeless and to nurse the sick. From St. Lazare, Vincent exhorted, consoled, advised, and begged all to be patient. He organized missions for the refugees, received young women in danger, and mobilized assistance for the impoverished nobility of Lorraine. He also took advantage of his contacts with the prime minister, Cardinal Richelieu, and other influential people to plead for peace.

8. The significant influence on Church and the royal family:[13]

In 1643, Vincent undertook an entirely new set of responsibilities. After the death of her husband, Louis XIII, and during the minority of Louis XIV, Queen Anne of Austria formed the Council of Ecclesiastical Affairs, to which she immediately appointed Vincent. In these meeting Vincent exercised significant influence on the selection of good and worthy bishops, oversaw the renewal of monastic life, dealt with Jansenism, and was able to keep the plight of the people and the poor before the government of France.

After following the footprint of the charitable way of Vincent de Paul, we know that Vincent did great deal of charitable work for the poor. One could say the entire basis of Vincent’s spirit was to recognize in the poor the face of Christ , and to serve in the poor our Lord Jesus Christ. But we often neglect another aspect of his legacy. St. Vincent, however, has left us a particularly beautiful gift. That is his creativity which resulted in a methodology adapted to the times in which he lived, and which is still relevant in our time.

Vincent’s zeal for the service of the poor was such that appreciated the need to create sustainable ways of serving the poor. To do this, he had to humbly invite the collaboration of others. He had to inspire them through his spirituality and release in them their own creativity and talent for the service of the poor.

Not only this, he brought together all available resources for the service of the poor, old and young, men and women, clerics and laity, royal family and peasants, wealthy and poor, etc. All are mobilized to his task.

Vincent recognized the potential both of the laity and of women and their role in creating a just world. This is a new concept which emerges in him, at a time when there were few expectations of the laity and women had an inferior place in society.

Vincent by these means planted a seed. In his lifetime this seed was already a flourishing sapling. He was himself very influential. Today that plant is a mature tree. There are 260 religious communities or lay organizations which bear his mark. In fact, one can see that much of the contemporary service of the poor in the Church is heavily influenced by this 17th century French Saint.

In the poor, Vincent saw and tried to console Christ himself. The message of Vincent has a source, a strength, and an unmistakable focal point which is specifically theological: it is born of Christ, it is nourished by the thirst for Christ, it tends towards Christ. Union with Jesus Christ: this is the goal of the untiring and insatiable search seen in the existential trajectory of Vincent de Paul. He is a man who always searches for the will of God and pays attention to it, and lives a Christocentric vocation in the Holy Spirit.



COMING ALIVE TODAY

Vincent de Paul makes the perennial timeliness of the Gospel come alive. Each one is like a living parable of that phrase in the Letter to the Hebrews: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8). Today, just like two thousand years ago on the roads of Palestine, Christ is walking at our side and calling us: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Mt 19:21). Today, as then, each and every person can rest his head on Jesus’ breast and listen to the heartbeat of God’s love for his creatures (cf. Jn 13:25). Now, let us see some concrete examples which come alive the spirit of political charity.

1. The example of St. Anne’s home

Father G. Beunen, C.M. came to Taiwan in 1951 from Holland. He took the post of Head of the Communications Department of the Vatican Embassy to the Taiwan and head of the Dutch Vincentian Mission in Taiwan. He established the Catholic Parish of Shipai in 1962 and actively developed pastoral work at the Veteran’s Hospital. When preaching around Taiwan, he saw many handicapped children living without proper care. The idea of setting up a nursing home just popped out of his head. However, there wasn’t enough financial support in Taiwan. Father Beunen therefore came back to Holland to raise more funds. Finally, with more contributions from the churches and the kind- hearted people in Holland, Father Beunen built St. Anne’s Home faithfully in 1972 in Taiwan.

Over these decades, the children receiving St. Anne’s help increases. St. Anne’s Home keeps facing the problem of insufficient financial and human resources. To congregate more resources from our society, St. Anne’s Home officially registered in the March of 1998.

The current Supervisor of St. Anne’s Home, Father Van Aert has succeeded the spirit Father Buneun insisted on ” Jesus’ words: Whenever you did this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” He continues to provide a loving “home”, where the seriously retarded children are well taken care of, where the children share the warmth of a family. In order for us to be of more service to the Handicapped, we have established the Buneun Foundation.

In fact, St. Anne’s Home was founded in the 70s in Taiwan precisely because the local people and government were neglecting the plight of the Handicapped in the Taiwanese society. With the presence of St. Anne’s Home, there was a clear sign of the presence of the Kingdom of God. Through St. Anne’s Home, which has become a kind of teacher and a conscience for the government and the local people and which continually reminds both the government and the society of the welfare and immediate needs of the Handicapped in Taiwan.

2. The example of Jinde Charities

In May of 1997, because of the local needs in a place the Catholic Church begin to take root in service to the immediate needs of the poor and needy inside of China, Jinde Charities was founded. In the very beginning Jinde Charities had 3 directions in their planning to serve society (1) Urgent needs for local families, (2) Immediate relief for disaster victims, (3) Contributions to the development of society. These three directions worked through Jinde Charities’ plans for raising the money needed to support these projects for helping these families, those devastated by natural disasters, and for the purpose in helping in the development of local society.

Now Jinde Charities has progressed to the point of seeking financial assistance from outside of China and working in collaboration with NGO’s and other organizations outside of China as a means to find funds to help local needs and for the purpose of sharing their resources and promoting further development of society.

Now, Jinde Charities has made even more progress with its relationship with International groups in sharing needed resources and promoting local social balanced development and promote the coming of the Kingdom of God. Jinde Charities’s main priority is allowing the Charity of Christ and this spirit to develop in a way that does not discriminate and judge of person on the country he/she comes from, his/her faith, gender, or where he/she lives. Their only purpose is to sponsor ways of helping. Instead they aim to help build a society wherein there is mutual concern from each individual and real deep concern for the person.

We are happy and pleased that we have a Vincentian priest who participates in the works and services of Jinde Charities and who is able to share the spirit of Vincent de Paul with Jinde Charities which is the first similar Caritas organization in Mainland China.

Although Jinde Charities has many good plans and projects, they still need to work with the government and usually the government limits them and their ways of serving others. So they need to cooperate with the government.

For instance, World AIDS Day 2005 was held in Shijia Zhuang China. At the railway station a city government sponsored event. All the local aids groups present very active, very well organized. Jinde Charities was also there. All groups were encouraged to implement government policy, i.e. to stop the spread of AIDS. But there were no HIV Positive people or groups present. There was nobody to question the government policy, nobody to advocate for the people who are HIV Positive. The government policy is focused on stopping the spread of AIDS. But it does not give enough resources to those living with AIDS. Nobody is allowed to advocate publically for their rights. There is no politically orientated charity.

Another example, government published material gives the impression that to become HIV Positive is the end no need to waste resources on people living with AIDS.

A Vincentian response must begin with the person and care for the person and also help others avoid becoming infected. They must be advocated and not just implement government policy.

3. The example of Tzu Chi Foundation (慈濟)

In the past the religion and activities of Buddhism in Taiwan was limited to monks and Buddhist nuns living in monasteries and having little connection with society. But then Dharma Master Cheng Yen (證嚴法師) brought to the society of Taiwan whole new revolutionary way of thinking. She slowly entered society and met the people. What is the reason for this major change? One of the reasons is that she met two Catholic Sisters. Afterwards she saw for herself that only personally bringing charity to the needy only in this way will people and society really have hope.

Tzu Chi Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in the impoverished east coast of Taiwan. The Foundation has been contributing to better social and community services, medical care, education and humanism in Taiwan for nearly 40 years. Master Cheng Yen firmly believes that suffering in this world is caused by material deprivation and spiritual poverty. She felt that “lack of love for others” has been the root of many problems in this world. “To save the world, we must begin by transforming human hearts.”

A volunteer-based, spiritual as well as welfare organization, Tzu Chi’s missions focus on giving material aid and inspiring love and humanity in both the givers and receivers. Since its founding, the Foundation has dedicated itself in the field of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection, as well as the promotion of humanistic values and community volunteerism. The humanitarian work is both a means to help those in need, and also a way to open the eyes of the volunteer to the harsher side of life, so that through giving, they may find spiritual happiness and life’s true meaning.

A home-grown Taiwanese organization, Tzu Chi volunteers living abroad began setting up overseas chapters in 1985. They use money that they have earned in their country of residence to help the poor and needy in their local communities. Today, Tzu Chi is an international organization with over 5 million supporters and over 30,000 certified commissioners around the globe.

Emergency aid to typhoon-stricken Bangladesh in 1991 marked the beginning of the foundation’s international relief efforts. Firmly believing that, “Nothing is more valuable than life, All beings are equal.” Tzu Chi demonstrates first hand that They overcome obstacles of time, distance, and politics, to provide relief and hope to victims of war, flood, and drought. As of August 2005, over fifty-seven countries in five continents have received Tzu Chi’s aid.

From the icy Arctic Circle to the sweltering tropics, Tzu Chi volunteers have left their footprints in many faraway lands, risking their lives in epidemics and wars. Their belief in “making the impossible possible” has sustained them in accomplishing many arduous tasks. In addition to material aid, Tzu Chi has also encouraged mutual help among disaster victims and helped them become independent by involving them in rebuilding their own communities. The ultimate goal is to inspire disaster victims to contribute to others in turn when they have the ability to do so, thus creating a global village of Great Love.

They think that we live in a time of turmoil, fear and violence. Everyday we are inundated with news of war, natural disasters, unrelenting change that threatens to destroy the orderly world we know and live in. It is easy to lose hope and direction in life. We live under the same sky and breathe in the same air, so it should only be natural that they help and care for one another.

Tzu Chi was built in 1966 on a foundation of love and that remains their core mission today. Love is all-powerful; it can soothe and calm a fretful and disquieted heart, as well as heal the wounds inflicted by calamities.

The hope of humanity lies in mutual help. In times of crisis or suffering, Tzu Chi volunteers are like a beacon of light. They bring hope and inspire others with their generous spirit and unconditional care. Love is the sole driving force in their mission; they are givers of love, food, care, shelter, and clothing, anything that will alleviate suffering. But in helping others, they also plant seeds of love. They expect nothing in return, other than for the same unconditional love to be extended to others. When those being helped can begin helping others, the cycle of goodness would have come full circle.

They firmly believe that the use of force will not end the turmoil on earth. Only through an open loving heart can they truly change the world to a better place for all to live in, alleviate the suffering of mankind, and reverse the trend of violence and destruction. When the goodness in every human being is awakened, world peace shall be possible.

CONCLUSION

In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Benedict XVI encourage us who repeat at every Mass: ”Give us this day our daily bread,” “to do everything possible, in cooperation with international, state and private institutions, to end or at least reduce the scandal of hunger and malnutrition afflicting so many millions of people in our world, especially in developing countries. In a particular way, the Christian laity, formed at the school of the Eucharist, is called to assume their specific political and social responsibilities. To do so, they need to be adequately prepared through practical education in charity and justice.”[14]

Moreover, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida, Brazil, 13 May, “The Church is the advocate of justice and of the poor, precisely because she does not identify with politicians nor with partisan interests. Only by remaining independent can she teach the great criteria and inalienable values, guide consciences and offer a life choice that goes beyond the political sphere. To form consciences, to be the advocate of justice and truth, to educate in individual and political Virtues: that is the fundamental vocation of the Church in this area. And lay Catholics must be aware of their responsibility in public life; they must be present in the formation of the necessary and in opposition to injustice.

As a Vincentian, we are sure that the contempt that some people have for local no-hopers, for those unable to cope, is present also on a global scale. Contempt for vast poor in Mainland China, many people and families in recent Tsunami incidents in Asia, AIDS suffers in all over the world and many millions of others. Someone has to speak for them, in the name of Christ, and this is part of our vocation. If necessary someone has to be a countersign to the modern pattern of thought which says ‘If they’re not useful, if they don’t produce anything, then they don’t count.’ We cannot see how this can any longer be an optional extra to our proclamation of the Gospel; any gospel we proclaim which doesn’t have this cry for justice somewhere in it, will be faulty, defective.

“Hate evil, love good, let justice reign at the city gate.”(Amos 5:15)

“Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.” (LK 6:36)

These invitations of God always give Vincentian a big challenge.

 


[1] Charles Pan, CM got licensiate in San Anselmo, Rome. He teaches liturgy in Fujen University at Taipei as well as in seminaries of Public Church in Mainland China.

[2] A. Dodin, Vincent De Paul and Charity: A Contemporary Portrait of His Life and Apostolic Spirit, New York: New City Press, 1993, p. 48.

[3] Cf: H. O’Donnell, Vincent de Paul: His Life and Way, in F. Rayn and J.E., Rybolt, Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac,New York: Paulist Press, 1995, p. 13.

[4] Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est, Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, no. 40.

[5] Cf: John Paul II, Jesus Christ Is a Model of Perfect Love,General Audience, August 31, 1988.

[6] H. F. O’Donnell, Vincent de Paul: His Life and Way, in F. Rayn and J.E., Rybolt, ed., Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac: Rules, Conferences, and Writings, New York: Paulist Press, 1995, pp. 24-25.

[7] Ibid., p. 25.

[8] H. F. O’Donnell, Vincent de Paul: His Life and Way, in F. Rayn and J.E., Rybolt, ed., Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac: Rules, Conferences, and Writings, New York: Paulist Press, 1995, p. 26.

[9] Ibid., pp. 25-26.

[10] Ibid., p.26.

[11] H. F. O’Donnell, Vincent de Paul: His Life and Way, in in F. Rayn and J.E., Rybolt, Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac: Rules, Conferences, and Writings, New York: Paulist Press, 1995, p. 27.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., p.28.

[14] Benedict XIV, Sacramentum caritatis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2007, no. 91.

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