Putting On the Virtue of Gentleness
November 28, 2022
There are many instances were St. Vincent describes “douceur” (sweetness or gentleness) as a missionary virtue. He tells François Du Coudray1 that recently he had been involved in the conversion of three people, but he avows that this was possible only through douceur, humility, and patience.
When speaking to Philippe Le Vacher about work among the captives and slaves in Algiers,2 St. Vincent encourages him to attract them by gentle (douces) means. He expresses his fear that the evil which the slaves are already suffering in their captive state, joined with the rigor that Le Vacher would like to exercise, might lead them to despair.
1CCD I, 66.
2CCD IV, 120.
Source: Fr. Robert P. Maloney, C.M. A Further Look at “Gentleness”