Saint Vincent de Paul


Saint Vincent de Paul, 1581–1660
September 27

Maybe there is a store in your town called “Saint Vincent de Paul” that sells secondhand things. That store and others like it were named after a French priest who lived more than 500 years ago. When Saint Vincent saw poor, sick children, he would give them food, clothes, toys, and medicine. He also taught them about Jesus. Other people saw what he was doing and wanted to help him, so he formed a group for men called the “Congregation of the Mission” and a group for women called “Daughters of Charity."

Discuss: How do you live the Corporal Works of Mercy?

Saint Vincent is a patron of charities, horses, and St. Vincent de Paul Societies. He was the son of a peasant farmer. He was once captured by Turkish pirates and made a slave for two years. Vincent escaped to Rome and then to Paris, where he devoted the rest of his life to charitable work. Under his direction, several confraternities of men and women to help the poor were established, as well as a hospital and orphanage. He is considered one of the greatest French Saints.

Corporal Works of Mercy
Verbal/Linguistic, Intrapersonal

Explain that Saint Vincent de Paul’s mission was to aid the poor. He showed mercy to all the people he met. Ask your child to consider whether he/she shows mercy.

  • Have your child list the Corporal Works of Mercy on a sheet of paper. (You can find them on pages 281 and 317 in the Student Book.)
  • Invite her/him to consider how your family lives each of the Corporal Works of Mercy every week.
  • Discuss together which of these things your family is good at doing and where you may be lacking.
  • Come up with a plan to be more purposeful in carrying out all of the Corporal Works of Mercy. Challenge each other to put your thoughts into action.