Abelly: Book 2/Chapter 01/Section 07/Introduction

From Vincentian Encyclopedia
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Although the missions authorized by Monsieur Vincent in France, Italy, and surrounding areas were greatly blessed, as we have seen in the preceding sections, we must affirm that the ones given in more distant regions have also borne their fruit. These successes may not have been as great as the ones on European soil, but they were equally appreciated and valued. These strange and savage lands were made fertile by the labors, but even more so by the blood of the missionaries. Several of them gave their lives by their untiring labors in the service of Jesus Christ. It was one of the most ardent desires of the worthy father of the missionaries to go himself to preach Jesus Christ among the infidels, and to risk martyrdom in confessing his holy name.

Other obligations imposed on him by divine Providence, however, made this impossible. He was heard to say, "Ah, miserable man that I am. My sins have made me unworthy to preach the word of God to peoples who do not know him." Speaking to his confreres, he said, "How happy is the missionary who has no limit in this world on where he can go to preach the gospel. Why then do we hesitate and set limits, since God has given us the whole world to satisfy our zeal?"

He showed a special veneration for Saint Francis Xavier, who had carried the Gospel all the way to the Indies with such courage and blessings. He appreciated the religious of his order, and all others who worked on the foreign missions. When any of them returned and had occasion to visit Saint Lazare, he would assemble the entire household to hear of their work, with the hope of inspiring his own missionaries to imitate their zeal. He would have their printed accounts read in the refectory, and did what he could to help their missions in foreign lands, as we shall see in the following pages.

He recognized, in keeping with the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, that the harvest of souls was great in foreign and barbarous lands, yet the workers were few. Thus he offered his confreres to Jesus Christ for the instruction of the poor and most abandoned, not only in Christian nations but also among the infidels and barbarians.

He inspired this same zeal and dispositions among the members of the Company. When someone would volunteer to go on the foreign missions he would rejoice with him because of the grace of the courage that God had bestowed upon him. Despite this, he never sent his men out haphazardly. His great maxim was never to push himself or his own ideas, but to wait simply and patiently for the manifestation of the will of divine Providence.

In beginning to speak of the missions given in foreign lands under the direction of Monsieur Vincent, among the infidels, heretics, or other enemies of our religion, we will begin in this section with those in the Barbary States. We will see how the missionaries worked and suffered to serve Jesus Christ in the persons of the poor Christian slaves. In later sections we will speak of the more remarkable events that took place in the other foreign missions.


This page:
Abelly Book Two, Chapter One: Section Seven, Introduction:
The More Remarkable Events in the Missions of the Barbary States

Index of this section:
Abelly Book Two, Chapter One: Section Seven Index:
The More Remarkable Events in the Missions of the Barbary States

Index of this chapter:
Abelly: Book Two/Chapter One/Index: The Missions of Monsieur Vincent

Index of:
Abelly: Book Two