In a series of three videos, Fr Tomaz Mavrič, CM invites us to focus our reflection on three objects that belonged to St. Vincent de Paul: his cape, his hat and his shoes. Today we present the second: his cape.
Relics are not “magic” objects … it would be blasphemous to believe that these objects retain some kind of special power. They are indeed privileged memories of a saint: they tell us about his life and his work, and how we are called to continue imitating Jesus Christ, servant of the poor, thanks to the example of these remarkable Christians.
In this second video, Fr. Tomaz Mavrič, CM invites us to contemplate the cape of Saint Vincent with a look of faith:
Fr. Tomaz Mavrič, CM tells us:
Vincent de Paul’s cover, which accompanied him so many years, going around and doing good.
What a sign of complete abandonment, not thinking of oneself, but living his vows, one’s vows to the fullest: poverty, obedience, chastity. Being totally given for the mission and to persevere in the end.
How strongly this cover also speaks to us, this relic. We bow in front of them, in front of it with a prayer for each one of us, for all the members of the Vincentian Family, for new vocations to the priesthood, to the brotherhood, to the consecrated life. Jesus is calling and through the intercession of you, Saint Vincent, we ask for the intercession to keep walking, to make our dream a reality. It was Jesus’s dream. It was your dream, Vincent. It is our wish and our dream today to make this globalization of charity a reality.
Questions for dialogue:
After watching this video together, we can discuss with these suggestions:
- What does St. Vincent’s cape suggest us to contemplate?
- The cape is a dress that protects from the cold and the external elements, in order to efficiently carry out the mission of service. What are the “capes” we need in the Vincentian Family to continue this mission of service and charity? For example: collaboration, community, prayer, inner life …
- Can you think of some commitments (personal and group), concrete and valuable, after contemplating the cape of Saint Vincent?
General presentation of this video series
For us, 2017 is the anniversary year of the charism. Unlike other founders, Vincent de Paul did not have visions or receive messages from on high. At two key moments in his life the Holy Spirit surprised Vincent and made him question himself with regard to two different forms of poverty: people are dying of hunger and… people are condemned because they do not know the truths necessary for salvation. Thus, there was a hunger for the Word and a hunger for food … both of which result in a twofold death: death of the body and death of the soul. After the failures that occurred during the first decade of his priestly ministry (failures that were revealed in the letter that he wrote to his mother and spoke about an honorable retirement which would allow him to spend the rest of his life with her [cf. CCD:I:15-16]), Vincent began to discover a new meaning in his life as a result of his charitable activity on behalf of the poor. Folleville and Châtillon were the crossroads where Vincent encountered God. After those events, Vincent became involved in a mission that gave meaning and direction to his life … and, as members of the Vincentian Family, gives meaning to our lives.
At the beginning of this Holy Year, this Charismatic Year … or perhaps it is better to say at the beginning of this Jubilee Year, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, superior general, mindful of the suggestion of an individual confrere (namely, Father Luiggi Mezzadri), decided to continue to communicate with all the members of the Vincentian Family through short video messages that are easily accessible in the various social media. He will begin with some reflections on Vincent’s cape, hat and shoes which from the time of the French Revolution have been preserved in the Mission House in Turin (Italy). With these relics in his hand Father reminds us that the Vincentian charism touches each one of us in an intimate manner. We are called to look at the rock from which [we] were hewn, the pit from which [we] were quarried (Isaiah 51:1). Other messages will follow on other themes and developed in various places: Folleville, Châtillon, Château-l’Eveque, Dax … and other places that have been significant with regard to the mission and charity and that have continued to impact the charism.
Initially these messages will be available in eight languages: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Slovenian and Slovak … we also want to make these messages available in other languages and dialects.
This work has been entrusted to Piotr Dziubak, a film-maker who has produced various important documentaries, for example, De Gasperi-mio padre; Santo subito. Alle perferie del mondo con Giovanni Paolo II; Liszt; Das Fenster zur Welt – 50 Jahre Zweites Vatikanisches Konzil.
This work begins today and will continue with short messages that can be developed from the perspective and the experience of the different branches. In this way we will be able to give witness to the world that the Vincent charism is alive and active.
Video courtesy of CMglobal YouTube Channel, based on an idea by Fr. Luigi Mezzadri, CM, and directed by Piotr Dziubak.