Fr. John Rybolt provides a day-by-day listing of the known activities of Vincent de Paul from 1596 (the year of his tonsure and minor orders) to 1660 (the year of his death). Its purpose is to show graphically his activities in chronological relation to each other and, where possible, to track his movements while traveling on missions or other activities.
The sources for these events are principally his letters, conferences and other documents as published by Pierre Coste, Vincent de Paul, Correspondance, Entretiens, Documents, [CED] 14 vols., Paris, 1920-1925. In addition, many others have been used, and these are mentioned in the list of abbreviations accompanying the Calendar. The English translation of Coste’s CED has been referenced for letters that were discovered after the publication of his work. These are generally given as the number of the letter used by Coste, plus the letter “a” or “b” as the case may be.
For some years and for many months, we have no indication of his activities. By the end of his life, however, we are much better informed. For those activities about which we know the month but not the exact date, I have placed them at the beginning of the month with an appropriate question mark about the exact date. I have also noted the occasions on which he stated that he had done something or received a letter, or that he would do something in the coming days. These are marked with a reference to the letter or conference in which the activity is mentioned.
This calendar also specifies his location whenever it is outside of Paris, principally away from Saint Lazare. Otherwise, it is presumed that he was writing from Saint Lazare. The mention of his location is given in boxed form at the foot of the day or days in question, along with the reference. For those days on which he repeated an activity, such as his annual retreat, these are repeated each day. Other recurring events, mainly feast days or other celebrations, such as his ordination anniversary, are presented as boxed on the day in question.
Where we have the data, information about his health condition is given in square brackets. This is particularly relevant toward the end of his life.
The compiler offers this calendar as a help in Vincentian research. He is very willing to receive corrections, updates and clarifications to improve the final product. Corrections and new information will be added as received. May it have a long and useful life.