In addition to the feast of the Immaculate Conception, on December 8 the Vincentian Family celebrates these occasions that add to the joy and depth of the day:

  • the canonical establishment of the Confraternity of Charity in 1617
  • one of the four major feasts chosen by the Society of St. Vincent DePaul in 1834 and
  • on or near Dec. 8, The Sisters of Charity make an annual devotional renewal of their vows

From around the Vincentian Family:


In the presence of God who calls and companions us on the journey,
In the presence of Miriam of Nazareth who said ‘yes’,
In the presence of Vincent and Louise who loved the poor,
In the presence of Elizabeth Ann Seton who ran to meet her grace,
I vow to live with an open heart in charity… I vow to live with open hands in simplicity and justice… I vow to live with an open spirit in humility and sincerity.

– Kathleen Aucoin, SC, from her final profession, 2005

Vierge rue Bac

“I ask Our Lord to bless you and to fill you with His Spirit so that, from now on, you will live by this same Spirit, humble and obedient like Him. In that way, dear Sisters, you’ll be living of His life. O Savior, this is what I ask of you, that they may live only of Your life by imitating Your virtues. To obtain this grace, Sisters, let’s have recourse to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Mercy and your great patroness. Say to her, ‘Since the Company of Charity has been established under the standard of your perfection, if we’ve hitherto called you our Mother, we now entreat you to accept the offering we make you of the Company in general and each of its members in particular. And because you allow us to call you Mother, and you are the Mother of Mercy, the channel through which all mercy flows; and because, as we believe, you obtained from God the establishment of this Company, be pleased to take it under Your protection.’ Let’s place ourselves under her guidance, Sisters, let’s promise to give ourselves to her Son and to her without reserve so that she may be the guide of the Company in general and of each Sister in particular.”
– St. Vincent de Paul, Conference of December 8, 1658 (From: Vincent de Paul: Correspondence, Conferences, and Documents, ed. Sr. Marie Poole, DC. Volume 10, p.500)

Within the mystery of the Immaculate Conception, St. Vincent saw the humble and chaste Virgin, emptied of herself so as to welcome God and allow herself to be filled with God. These are fundamental dispositions for those desiring to empty themselves and clothe themselves in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Welcoming God, being filled with God, clothing oneself with Christ, self-emptying, as did the Immaculate one: that is the first event that Vincent de Paul stressed regarding the Virgin Mary.

– from “Marian Spirituality and the Vincentian Charism” by Corpus Delgado, C.M., Province of Zaragoza, 13.VII.2002

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