The Irritable Saint: St. Vincent de Paul

by | Sep 30, 2011 | Vincentian Family

Chesterton once said that the difference between a sinner and saint is not that the saint doesn’t sin. The difference is that the saint knows they’re a sinner. This is what strikes me with St. Vincent de Paul. You might expect, and certainly you will get to some degree, a listing of all the amazing charitable works this grand saint of seventeenth century France undertook. However, what is seldom mentioned in the popular accounts about St. Vincent is his bad temper. So writes Omar F. A. Gutierrez in Regnum Novum.

He concludes  his reflections with the thought… “What this doesn’t mean is that St. Vincent de Paul was driven to do his charitable work through anger. Many times, I have spoken to folks about the social justice teaching of the Church. What is usually discussed is how the injustices of the world ought to drive us to action. Indeed, in speaking to a wonderful man several months ago, our conversation fell upon Mother Teresa about whom he said, “She acted because she could see the injustice in the society.” This is exactly wrong though.”


Tags: Vincent

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