The Vincentian Family around the world is excited to celebrate 400 years of the Vincentian Charism. Special celebrations, pilgrimages, conferences, meetings, popular missions, projects for those who are the poorest, and additional activities are being developed in many countries.

In order to renew our missionary zeal and keep the flame burning in all Vincentians around the world, the International Vincentian Family has organized 4 events to celebrate the 400th anniversary:

  • Pilgrimage of the heart of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Symposium with Pope Francis in Rome
  • The Film Festival
  • Homelessness Initiative.

The first event, the pilgrimage of the heart of St. Vincent de Paul already started his travel in France.  It is visiting the peripheries in France, then it will travel Italy and other countries where St. Vincent de Paul sent the first missionaries. For many in those countries, this will be a blessing to have the heart of St. Vincent.

Symposium with Pope Francis

The coming event is the Symposium with Pope Francis in Rome.  The focus of this event will be “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” As Christians and Vincentians, we want to welcome those who are strangers, those who are fleeing from the wars, poverty, or persecution because of their faith; those who do not have where to live or live on the streets; those who live close to us, but they speak another language or have different religion or culture. The symposium will strengthen our commitment to them.

It is expected that 5,000 people be part of this event, especially young people. Many people are already getting to participate in there.

As Vincentians, we are thankful for being part of this big Family.  Who would have thought that the small seed sown in Chatillon and Folleville 400 years ago, would grow up and spread throughout the world?  That small seed has become one of the greatest trees in the Church. The Vincentian Tree has become the place where those who are in need feel safe, loved, and dignified. As Vincent de Paul said, God is the author of this work:

I never even thought of our rules, nor of the Company, nor even of the word “mission.” It is God who has done all of this; [we] have had no share in it. As for myself, when I think of the way that God has given birth to the Company in the Church, I confess I do not know what part I played. It seems to me that all that I see is a dream. Oh! It is not man-made. It is from God. Would you call “human” something which human understanding had not foreseen, something which human will had not sought or desired in any way? … It has all come about contrary to my hopes and without my ever having thought of it in any way. When I consider this and see what the Company is doing, I truthfully think I must be dreaming. (“On the observance of the rule,” Conference of May 1, 1658)

It is a good time to thank God for all the blessings He has sent the Vincentian Family for 400 years. At the same time, we are invited to be more consistent in our service to those who are poor since God is glorified when the poor live with dignity.  Have you asked yourself, what can I do to be a better Christian, a better Vincentian?

Check out the International Symposium website to learn how to be a part of this event.  Click on the next link and to get more information: International Symposium


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