Abelly: Book 2/Chapter 13/Section 01

From Vincentian Encyclopedia

The Appointment of Monsieur Vincent to the King's Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs

In 1643, after the death of King Louis XIII, of happy and triumphant memory, the queen mother Anne of Austria saw herself charged with the direction of this great kingdom during the minority of her son. She also recognized that to attract God's protection upon the precious child confided to her care, and also upon the entire state, she could do nothing better than to put religious matters into good order. She desired that God should rule in the hearts of her subjects, thus strengthening royal authority in the kingdom. To further this, she established a Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs, especially for granting those benefices at Her Majesty's disposition. Knowing of the virtue of Monsieur Vincent, and his other excellent qualities, she wanted him to become a member of this council.

We cannot adequately describe the surprise and astonishment of this humble servant of God at this appointment, nor the efforts he made to be dispensed from this service. It was as unbearable to him as it appeared honorable and brilliant in the eyes of others. Her Majesty persisted in her request, making it known that she was adamant in wanting him to give this service to God and to the king, her son. His humility gave way to obedience, believing that this request of the queen was a manifestation of God's will for him. This is why he renounced his own preferences in the matter, and he offered himself to God to do all that would be most pleasing to him.

He foresaw the great storms and violent shocks to which he would be exposed on this tempestuous sea of the court. He knew from experience that in sustaining the interests of justice and piety he would be the recipient of many recriminations and persecutions. He felt he could do nothing better than to abandon himself to divine Providence. He resolved to acquit himself faithfully and religiously in the position confided to him, and to preserve an inviolable fidelity to God and to the king, regardless of what might happen. [1]

This resolution was well taken. After it became known that the queen sought his advice, some persons of high rank would come often to seek his favor and his recommendation. They would have obliged him to devote all his time to their business, were it not for his practice of not going to court unless called for, and his conviction that as a priest he ought not to become involved in worldly affairs.

Reference

  1. According to the testimony of Louis de Chandenier, Cardinal de la Rochefoucault convinced Vincent to serve on the Council of Conscience for the sake of God's honor and the welfare of the French Church.


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Abelly: Book Two/Last Chapter/Section One
The Appointment of Monsieur Vincent to the King's Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs

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