The last days of the month of November sound truly like “Vincentians:” they have a distinctly Vincentian character on the calendar, because the Vincentian Family dresses up for at least three well-known days.
- The first day is November 27. We celebrate with great joy and solemnity the feast of our Mother the Virgin Mary under the invocation of the Miraculous Medal. A celebration that has already become universal, a devotion totally embodied in the “sensus fidei” of the Christian people. The preceding days the people of God have been celebrating triduos and novenas of reflection, of prayer of homage to Miraculous Mary. In infinity of temples, chapels and parishes related to the Vincentian Family, these celebrations have been carried out, already habitual and very popular year after year.
- The second day refers to November 28. The Vincentian Family, with the whole Church, celebrates the life of the person graced with the apparitions of the Miraculous Virgin in the year 1830, in the chapel of the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity, on the Rue du Bac in Paris: Saint Catherine Labouré. A humble, generous and self-sacrificing Daughter of Charity who dedicated herself to serving the poorest. A Daughter of Charity who, for forty-five years, performed the quietest services in the hospice of Enghien, in the Rue de Reuilly, in Paris.
- And the third day, November 29, marks a date of undoubted historical importance: the founding of the Company of the Daughters of Charity. A Society of Apostolic Life founded in France in the 17th century by Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac. Around the year 1630, Vincent de Paul entrusted Louise de Marillac with the care of the first Sisters who worked in the different Charities, but it was November 29, 1633, when they gathered around Louise de Marillac, to live their ideal under her direction and in fraternal communion. Vincent de Paul, speaking of the founding of the Company, exclaimed: “Who would have thought that there would be Daughters of Charity?… I did not think about it… God thought it for you.”
Author: Celestino Fernández, C.M.