Sr Carmen Urrizburu, DC writes, “Vincent added another form of martyrdom that is unique to the institutions that were founded by him. In this other form of martyrdom, death does not result from defending the faith or morality but rather involves accepting every opportunity to serve Jesus Christ in those persons who are most poor, even if this means placing one’s life in danger.”

… “At the beginning of our history there were wonderful examples of men and women, Missionaries and Daughters of Charity, who were animated with this spirit.. The first of these was Marguerite Naseau and many others followed her. Missionaries were sent to Madagascar but few arrived there because the journey was very difficult and many died during their travels to that place. They were replaced by others who voluntarily offered to go to this foreign mission. Daughters of Charity were missioned to Calais to care for wounded soldiers. Some died from fatigue and others from one disease or another … immediately other Daughters, beginning with the eldest, offered to go to this mission. There are many other examples where there is very clear witness to the option of love in which so many people for so little earthly recompense and so little honor risked their life. This is all the more applicable to those who dedicate their lives to serve Jesus Christ in those persons who are poor and who dedicate their lives to proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout the world (Cf., CCD:XI:334-334; XII:44-47).”

“The spirit of martyrdom is a companion to the charism of charity.”

Full English text of this article originally published in Spanish in 1995 and posted on Somos Vicencianos on June 3rd, 2011 by Javier Chento.

Graphic courtesy of DePaul Image Archive

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