The Sandals of Charity • A Video from Fr. Tomaz Mavrič

by | Jan 23, 2017 | Formation, Reflections | 2 comments

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 third: his sandals.

These relics are an example of Saint Vincent de Paul’s commitment to the needy. He did not hesitate to walk long journeys to help them. Once again, these relics are telling us how Vincent was like, and how we, his followers, should be.

In this third video, Fr. Tomaz Mavrič, CM invites us to contemplate the sandals of Saint Vincent with a look of faith:

Fr. Tomaz Mavrič, CM tells us:

These precious relics, these sandals of Vincent de Paul that I hold in my hands speak without words. They can almost not be called sandals anymore, full of holes, all worn out. This speaks of Vincent tirelessly going and going and going and moving forward for Jesus and for the poor. He didn’t care in what shape they are.

How many kilometers did these shoes go? To how many poor these shoes, these sandals did go? Tell me, how many times Vincent met Jesus with these sandals.

Let’s do the same. Let’s go and let’s deepen our closeness with Jesus, with the poor. Let’s go to the peripheries. Let’s go!

Questions for dialogue:

After watching this video together, we can discuss with these suggestions:

  1. The sandals are the symbol of the road that has already been traveled, but also of which we still have to travel. Looking back, we invite you to share with all, the moments of your life that you think were key moments in your experience as a Vincentian follower of Jesus, the servant.
  2. Let’s go to the poor! It is a call to get going, not to stand still and indifferent to the needs of the poor. In what situations are the poor calling us to stand by them, if we are not yet?
  3. Where do you think we should walk the followers of Vincent in the future?

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.


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  2. Linda Gomez, DC

    Aching feet….comfortable shoes….oftentimes these dictate my “going” to the poor; but not for Vincent! what a challenge.! What a summons!! Thank You!