Self-worth is not a phrase that would have been much discussed in the 17th century. You’re not going to find it in the lexicon of St. Vincent. But the concept was not foreign to him.
He knew that of human worth (and because of that, self-worth) was founded on what God thinks, rather than what we think. When he looked at poor people, he saw what God saw: inestimable value.
In her article, Top 7 Bible Verses About Self Worth, Jada Pryor says,
The beginning and end to all issues of self-worth is in Jesus’s death on the cross. How can we believe we aren’t worthy, when he so passionately did? If faith is believing in God and his ability to work in our lives, then what are we saying when we refuse to believe that He loves us? I do not mean to downplay the struggle that comes with low self-worth and issues of self-esteem. Only to suggest that it is NOT from God. When you cannot believe that anyone in the world would love you, know that God does.
Try this one by the Paslmist: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (139:13-14)”
Self-worth in the Vincentian world begins by seeing value in the other, and remembering that to another, we are other. To look on others and ourselves as having inestimable value is the true measure of self-worth, and another way to say #IamVincent.