St Vincent De Paul
St. Vincent de Paul is remembered worldwide for his contribution towards the founding of the voluntary Catholic social work organization, the Daughters of Charity, and for being a general force of goodwill and a selfless public servant.
Vincent de Paul was born in a French peasant household in 1581. His family was not exactly well off, but Vincent showed a likeness for both reading and writing as a child and therefore at the age of 15 he was sent away to the seminary in order to study and become a priest. Although at the time of joining the seminary his intent was not towards serving a religious purpose but rather having a career and supporting his family.
Slavery & Freedom
Although the establishment of this order was undoubtedly his greatest feat, there is a lot more to the works of St. Vincent de Paul which goes unnoticed. After completing his education, he started working at the monastery and also started his preparations to take on the religious cloth. However, in 1605 when he was on a business mission he was abducted by pirates and sold off as a slave. He would spend the next two years as a slave under two different masters, the latter of which he was able to turn towards the Christian light and thereby convince to grant him freedom and come with to France.
Saint Vincent de Paul Service
After returning to France he served at various locations before being allocated to preaching in the Gondi estates in the suburbs of Paris. It is here that Saint Vincent de Paul realized his compassionate side and will to help the poor and needy. He had worked around a lot of wealthy household of Paris as a priest and he had noticed that the ladies of these houses also were inclined towards helping the poor. However, they lacked the social capacity to do it themselves and therefore handed over this task to their servants who would neglect the task. Saint Vincent de Paul brought these women forward and asked them to provide whatsoever help they could with their own hands.
The conditions in Paris and in France in general at this point were quite poor for the weaker sections of the society France was always engaged into wars arising from border disputes and these wars devastated the border regions of the country, and a large number of galley slaves were being brought into the city who were in pathetic condition. Saint Vincent de Paul took the charge of helping these people by employing the compassionate women of wealthy households to collect funds and run hospital sessions.
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