In a series of three videos, Fr Tomaz Mavrič, CM invites us to focus our reflection on three objects that belonged to St. Vincent de Paul: his cape, his hat and his shoes. Today we present the first: his hat.
These relics are objects that evoke the life of Vincent de Paul, a pilgrim who traveled the roads of France for the relief and service of the poor of his time.
In this first video, Fr. Tomaz Mavrič, CM invites us to contemplate the hat of Saint Vincent with a look of faith:
Fr. Tomaz Mavrič CM tells us:
Vincent’s hat. Worn, worn down. Holes seen in different places.
We can imagine Vincent walking along the streets of Paris and other cities, carrying this hat to protect him from cold, from snow.
But, again, it was a tool for him. A tool to serve.
This relic also speaks to us and invites us to reflect on Vincent and his way. Why he fell in love with Jesus. Why he was tireless going and going till physically he got so tired that simply could not go anymore. And he spent the last period in his room.
But here we are invited to go out, always with Jesus.
Questions for dialogue:
After watching this video together, we can discuss with these suggestions:
- What does Saint Vincent’s hat suggest to us?
- The hat protects from the excessive sun, helps to protect us from the dangers of the trip. What “dangers and difficulties” do we find on our way of service to the poor, following the example of Jesus Christ? What can we do to solve these difficulties, to minimize those dangers?
- Can you think of some commitments (personal and group), concrete and valuable, after contemplating the hat of Saint Vincent?
General presentation of this video series
For us, 2017 is the anniversary year of the charism. Unlike other founders, Vincent de Paul did not have visions or receive messages from on high. At two key moments in his life the Holy Spirit surprised Vincent and made him question himself with regard to two different forms of poverty: people are dying of hunger and… people are condemned because they do not know the truths necessary for salvation. Thus, there was a hunger for the Word and a hunger for food … both of which result in a twofold death: death of the body and death of the soul. After the failures that occurred during the first decade of his priestly ministry (failures that were revealed in the letter that he wrote to his mother and spoke about an honorable retirement which would allow him to spend the rest of his life with her [cf. CCD:I:15-16]), Vincent began to discover a new meaning in his life as a result of his charitable activity on behalf of the poor. Folleville and Châtillon were the crossroads where Vincent encountered God. After those events, Vincent became involved in a mission that gave meaning and direction to his life … and, as members of the Vincentian Family, gives meaning to our lives.
At the beginning of this Holy Year, this Charismatic Year … or perhaps it is better to say at the beginning of this Jubilee Year, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, superior general, mindful of the suggestion of an individual confrere (namely, Father Luiggi Mezzadri), decided to continue to communicate with all the members of the Vincentian Family through short video messages that are easily accessible in the various social media. He will begin with some reflections on Vincent’s cape, hat and shoes which from the time of the French Revolution have been preserved in the Mission House in Turin (Italy). With these relics in his hand Father reminds us that the Vincentian charism touches each one of us in an intimate manner. We are called to look at the rock from which [we] were hewn, the pit from which [we] were quarried (Isaiah 51:1). Other messages will follow on other themes and developed in various places: Folleville, Châtillon, Château-l’Eveque, Dax … and other places that have been significant with regard to the mission and charity and that have continued to impact the charism.
Initially these messages will be available in eight languages: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Slovenian and Slovak … we also want to make these messages available in other languages and dialects.
This work has been entrusted to Piotr Dziubak, a film-maker who has produced various important documentaries, for example, De Gasperi-mio padre; Santo subito. Alle perferie del mondo con Giovanni Paolo II; Liszt; Das Fenster zur Welt – 50 Jahre Zweites Vatikanisches Konzil.
This work begins today and will continue with short messages that can be developed from the perspective and the experience of the different branches. In this way we will be able to give witness to the world that the Vincent charism is alive and active.
Video courtesy of CMglobal YouTube Channel, based on an idea by Fr. Luigi Mezzadri, CM, and directed by Piotr Dziubak.
I can hear St. Vincent urge us again: “Go, go to the poor!. Ten times you go to the poor, ten times you see God there.” THANK YOU!