Today is the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul and the 250th anniversary of his death. Until I started researching a little bit about him for this post, I had not known that pirates had captured him and that he’d been sold into slavery in North Africa. He managed to convert his master to Christianity and with him escaped back to France.
For a few years he was chaplain and tutor to a rich family but left to become a country curate and to found his first “conference of charity was founded for the relief of the poor.” He then turned his attention to helping prisoners on galleys who were to be transported overseas.
This extraordinary man went on to found the Congregation of the Mission [Vincentians] and, with Louise de Marillac, the Daughters of Charity who performed – and continue to perform – heroic work among the poor and marginalized.
Never let it be said that one person cannot make a significant difference in our world.