“The path of Vincent’s encounter with Christ was one of progressively drawing closer to Christ as he grew in knowledge and love for Christ. It was not, as some of his biographers (who wrote as hagiographers) state, a path that followed some straight line from the time of his childhood. Nor was it the sudden conversion of a sinner….
He concludes ”We have seen how the spiritual journey of Vincent de Paul is rooted in his incorporation into Jesus Christ through baptism and how his relationship with Jesus Christ became more secure as he drew closer to Christ, as he came to know Christ better and as he united his own life to the life of Christ. Throughout the many different events of his life Vincent never closed the door on Christ’s presence and as a result, God’s grace was always available to him. Jesus enlightened Vincent with new light and Vincent, through the eyes of faith, saw things as God saw them and so he renounced his own plans and committed himself to follow Jesus Christ, evangelizer of the poor, and to do this all the days of his life.
“The pivotal event behind this was none other than the encounter with Christ who, according to Vincent’s own words, became his father, his mother, his brothers and sisters, his all. From that point on his ability and his efforts were multiplied as he engaged in the organization and the coordination of every type of institution on behalf of the poor: the creation of the Confraternities of Charity, the establishment of the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity … even seeking support for his work from high ranking government officials. Vincent did not feel that he was hindered by seeming impossible obstacles or by his lowly status as a simple priest from the countryside because everything responds to God’s grace.”
Outline of the article
- 1 Introduction
- 2 The path of encounter with Christ
- 3 The encounter with Christ: the definitive experience in the life of Vincent de Paul
- 4 Jesus Christ, the center of Vincent’s life and existence
- 5 Epilogue
- 6 Footnotes: