St. Vincent de Paul’s Trust in Providence

by | Sep 16, 2016 | Formation

St. Vincent had a deep faith and trust in God’s providential care for him and for all people, especially the poor. Fr. Robert Maloney, C.M. writes,

Vincent de Paul’s vision of Christ is an original one. […] Even in the midst of great activity he stands before his Father constantly in prayer, seeking his will and trusting in his providence.”

Robert P. Maloney, CM. The way of Vincent de Paul : a contemporary spirituality in the service of the poor. New York: New City Press, 1992. p. 35

Click on the YouTube video below to reflect on a few more of St. Vincent’s thoughts on trusting in God’s Providence. (The video is a little over two minutes long.)

More from The way of St. Vincent de Paul by Fr. Maloney:


Listen, my brother, to these striking words of St. Vincent:

Christ said: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all those things which you need will be given to you as well.” That is the basis for each of us having the following set of priorities: matters involving our relationship with God are more important than temporal affairs; spiritual health is more important than physical; God’s glory is more important than human approval. Each one should, moreover, be determined to prefer, like St. Paul to do without necessities, to be slandered or tortured, or even killed, rather than lose Christ’s love. In practice, then, we should not worry too much about temporal affairs. We ought to have confidence in God that he will look after us since we know for certain that as long as we are grounded in that sort of love and trust we will be always under the protection of God in heaven, we will remain unaffected by evil and never lack what we need even when everything we possess seems headed for disaster.

Vincent knew great peace. He trusted in God as his own Father, who watched over and cared for him. He believed deeply that God was the author of the Confraternities of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity and all the good that he had done in the service of the poor. He was confident that his Father, who had begun these good works would bring them to completion. He had utter trust in God’s unseen plans, which work through human history to reveal his love. On the one hand, he urged his followers to be patient in discerning and following God’s designs. He knew that grace has its moments and he praised those who had learned the rhythm of God’s movements. But on the other hand, he knew that this same loving, provident Father acts in and through human instruments, as he had in Jesus his Son. So he also praised those who had learned to foresee and prepare the way for the works of providence.”


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