A different kind of Vincentian dictionary/chronology

by | Apr 19, 2015 | News | 3 comments

Dictionary illustrationIt is different kind of Vincentian dictionary/chronology! Lives in context. Those who have read sections (either in the original Spanish or in a newly prepared translation) of the CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORICAL VINCENTIAN DICTIONARY 1580-1660 have been amazed at how it impacts one’s understanding of things Vincent and Louise wrote or did.

The format is quite unique, at least in the Vincentian world. It represents a correlation of the events of the day with the events and the writings of both Vincent and Louise.

In my experience it seems something like that of seeing the restored beauty of the paintings in the Sistine Chapel.  It leads to frequent comments such as “Oh I did not realize that was what Vincent or Louise was really addressing when they did this or said that.” “That make much more sense now!”

It also reminded me of my first visit to the motherhouse in Paris in 1965. When I first saw the structure of the long tables along the two sides of the dining room I understood why Vincent wrote that confreres were not to leave under the table before the meal was finished. If in the middle one had to wait until 15 or so confreres on either side had finished their meal!

Father Charles Plock is undertaking the tedious task of translating and inserting the art, much of which is generally not known.

Illustrated dictionary Chapter xiii  (PDF) Visit the Vincentian Encyclopedia for current and future chapters 


Father Rafael Villarroya (a936-1993) was a member of the Congregation of the Mission and the Visitor of the Province of Zaragoza from 1973-1976. He died without publishing any of his work. Those who knew him also knew that he was dedicated to the research of books, articles, places, photographs … any material related to Vincent de Paul and his various establishments. Father Mixtel put order into much of Father Rafael’s material especially the material that will be found in this Dictionary. The Prologue to this work was written by Father Villarroya and he stated:

[This material can be copied, photocopied, reproduced in its totality or partially without any obligation to cite the author. You can use this material in any way that you desire. The only condition is the following: you may not seek any monetary remuneration from the use of this material unless you are poor … this work belongs to those men and women who are poor.]

In the pages that follow you will find the material related to Chapter Thirteen, the final chapter of this work which is entitled The Final Years: 1658-1660. The chapter is divided into the following sections:

1658: France; 1658: Life of Vincent de Paul; 1658: Letters of Vincent de Paul; 1658: Life of Louise de Marillac; 1658: Letters of Louise de Maillac

1659: France; 1659: Life of Vincent de Paul; 1659: Letters of Vincent de Paul; 1659: Life of Louise de Marillac; 1659: Letters of Louise de Maillac

 1660: France; 1660: Life of Vincent de Paul; 1660: Letters of Vincent de Paul; 1660: Life of Louise de Marillac; 1660: Letters of Louise de Maillac

You will notice that there is a color scheme in this Dictionary: Blue is used when referring to the historical events that occurred in France during the years 1658-1660; Red is used when referring to the events and the writings of Vincent de Paul; Green is used when referring to the events and writings of Louise de Marillac.

It is hoped that in the course of time the other twelve chapters will be translated and then published here online.

Charles T. Plock, CM (Translator)

A poor attempt at capturing the richness of the work…


1658: FRANCE

January 5:

The nephew of Cardinal Mazarin died at the age of thirteen (his skull was fractured when he was playing with his friends. Mazarin mourned his death and for ten days remained in seclusion in Vincennes.




Vincent’s carriage turned over and he hit his head very hard on the pavement (CCD:VII:68, 90, XIIIb:359; SWLM:582 [L.560], 587 [L.565]). M. Le Vazeux created problems in Annecy: a law suit was brought against a lawyer and during an attempt to resolve this matter with the mediation of the Bishop the situation became more difficult when reproaches and insults were exchanged (CCD:VII:95-97).

January 4:

Death of M. Almeras [CCD:III:30, footnote #1, VI:265, VII:68, 75).



The ashes of these apostolic men will be the seed of a large number of good Missionaries (CCD:VII:19).

Perhaps Our Lord has permitted these causes of repugnance in order to preach to you yourself and to protect you from the empty satisfaction we imperceptibly seek in our work (CCD:VII:21).

I venture to tell you that this wretch that I am has never given better missions than when he was lodged in inns (CCD:VII:22).

Remember that frequent association with those who are close to you diminishes the spirit and often destroys it altogether (CCDS:VII:53).

Our maxim is always to give place to others [a reference to the Capuchins who were going to Madagascar], confident that they will do better than we (CCD:VII:58].

The eagerness of that large number of young women who want to enter your Company is not a sure sign that God is calling them to it (CCD:VII:64).



Louise and the other Sisters wanted to be included with the priests of the Mission who were preparing to leave for Madagascar in March (SWLM:584 [L.561], 585 [L.563]); the various ministries continued to be developed at the Motherhouse.



The girls … must be informed that it is not a religious house; nor is it a hospital from which they will never be moved. Rather they must continuously go to seek out the sick poor, in various places, in any kind of weather and at predetermined times (SWLM:583 [L.561]).

If you realized, my dear Sisters, the degree of humility, gentleness and submission Our Lord desired of the Daughters of Charity, you would be dismayed not to practice these virtues (SWLM:587 [L.565]).

All our exchanges and all our consolations, if we can have any, other than with Our Lord, must be found among ourselves (SWLM:587 [L.565]).

In my opinion, you misunderstand our sisters when you tell me that they object to your writing to us. I think that they mean that you should not write often or without necessity (SWLM:593 [L.572]).

The aforementioned Rule does not provide for the prolongation of the term of office of the three officers, nevertheless, my Most Honored Father, this would seem to me to be essential because nearly three to four months go by before they assume their responsibilities. If your Charity is in agreement, you could begin it this year because it is impossible to find other sisters since we must provide so many elsewhere (SWLM:597 [L.577]).


  1. Monica

    Is the newly prepared English translation available online?

  2. John Freund, CM

    Opps! The final chapter is now available online and the link has been insserted into the body of the article.

  3. marguerite broderick dc

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this!

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