Vincent just went a did things. So did Dorothy Day. On this anniversary of the her death the blog Creo en Dios offers a quote of hers that sounds like a perfect description of most of what Vincent did in his life.

Dorothy Day wrote of her motivation and the work of the Catholic Worker houses in very simple terms:

No one asked us to do this work. The mayor of the city did not come along and ask us to run a bread line or a hospice to supplement the municipal lodging house. Nor did the Bishop or Cardinal ask that we help out the Catholic Charities in their endeavor to help the poor. No one asked us to start an agency or an institution of any kind. On our responsibility, because we are our brother’s keeper, because of a sense of personal responsibility, we began to try to see Christ in each one that came to us. If a man came in hungry, there was always something in the ice box. If he needed a bed and were were crowded, there was always a quarter around to buy a bed on the Bowery. If he needed clothes, there were our friends to be appealed to, after we had taken the extra coat out of the closet first, of course. It might be someone else’s coat, but that was all right too.

Susan Stabile concudes

We are our brother’s and our sister’s keeper. We have a personal responsibility. Like one of the saints I most admire, St. Vincent de Paul, Dorothy Day took that responsibility seriously, managing to see Christ in each person she encountered. Inspired by that model, let us try to see Christ in each person we encounter, today and every day.


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