Vincentian Saints and BlessedsIn the more than 300 years since Saints Vincent and Louise lived in service to the Poor, many have been inspired to walk in their footsteps.
St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul was a 17th century priest whose influence is still being felt today through the more than 2 million people who are inspired by him and serve in the many Vincentian organizations.
St. Louise de Marillac
As a wife, mother, teacher, nurse, social worker, mentor, spiritual leader, and foundress, St. Louise de Marillac stands as a model to all women.
Bl. Nicolas Colin
Nicolas Colin was driven from his presbytery and replaced by a priest loyal to the Civil Constitution. He is known to have said: “...as reward for my fidelity to the faith, hunger, exile, prison and, perhaps even death itself.”
Bl. Jean-Charles Caron
A Congregation of the Mission priest who refused to sign the Civil Constitution of the Clergy during the French Revolution, Jean-Charles Caron was martyred.
Bl. Marie-Anne Vaillot
Marie-Anne Vaillot comforted Odile Baumgarten as they were waiting execution by saying “We will have the happiness of seeing God and possessing him for all eternity... and we will be possessed by him without fear of being ever separated from him.”
Bl. Jean-Henri Gruyer
“Saint Louis parish was taken over by priests who had taken the oath of fidelity to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which asserted that the Pope had no authority in France and provided for election of bishops and priests by panels of citizens.” Jean-Henri Gruyer left and went to Paris to ask for temporary accommodation in Saint-Firmin only to be held captive and killed within a day.
Bl. Marguerite Rutan
Marguerite Rutan entered the Company of the Daughters of Charity to be near those who were suffering, marginalized or excluded. Her faithfulness to Christ and the Church lead her to martyrdom at the time of the French Revolution.
St. Francis Regis Clet
St. Francis Regis Clet was a Vincentian priest who in 1820 was found guilty of deceiving the Chinese people by preaching Christianity and was sentenced to strangulation on a cross.
Bl. Odile Baumgarten
Odile Baumgarten “was regarded to be one of the strongest opponents of the revolutionary ideas, and believed to have influenced many other sisters to resist what the civil authorities wanted to do.”
Bl. Louis Joseph François
Louis Joseph François “was one of the most zealous and best defenders of the Catholic religion against the oath demanded from priests by the French National Assembly.” He was thrown out of a window, where a group of women battered him to death with wooden clubs, for his faith.
Bl. Pierre-René Rogue
Pierre-René Rogue accepted state money for priestly ministry for “his view was that he had done the work and therefore should be paid.” During the troubles of the Revolution, he convinced the superior of the seminary not to take an oath to be loyal to the state, the law and the King.
St. Joan Antida Thouret
St. Joan Antida Thouret’s desire to commit herself to Christ and to her religious vocation gave her the courage to flee France during the chaos of the French Revolution, on foot and alone.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
The first United States-born canonized Saint and foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph’s, the first community of religious women founded in the United States, are attributed to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She was a wife, mother, then a widow, and a teacher.
Blessed Francinaina Cirer Carbonell
Blessed Francinaina Cirer Carbonell founded the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of Mallorca and later assumed the name of "Francinaina of the Sorrowful Mother of God". She was illiterate but later founded the Community of the Sisters of Charity despite this impediment. She also experienced angelic visions on numerous occasions.
Bl. Rosalie Rendu
“Her example encouraged her Sisters. She often told them: ‘Be a milestone where all those who are tired have the right to lay down their load.’” Sr. Rosalie was sought out by schools and organizations performing good works (such as the first conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society) for advice.
Ghebre Michael was a disciple of Justin de Jacobis who died as a Vincentian seminarist. He was an African convert who died as a prisoner because he would not renounce his faith.
St. Justin de Jacobis
St. Justin de Jacobis was one of the first Italian missionary Vincentian Priests to go to Ethiopia, a Christian country that had slipped into schism and heresy. Under resentment from Paris because he was not French, he integrated into the Ethiopian culture and is considered an apostle to Africa.
Bl. Marco Antonio Durando
One initiative of Marco Antonio Durando was the propagation of the Marian Association of the Miraculous Medal among young people. The Association became a fertile ground for vocations; in only ten years, 260 young women of the area joined the Daughters of Charity.
St. John Gabriel Perboyre
A missionary priest and martyr of the Congregation of the Mission, St. John Gabriel Perboyre was tortured by the Chinese. He declared “I would sooner die than deny my faith!”
St. Catherine Labouré
The Blessed Mother displayed herself to St. Catherine Labouré and described the images to be put on medallions that we know as the Miraculous Medal. She told her that “All who wear them will receive great graces.”
Bl. Frédéric Ozanam
This brilliant, sensitive young man of middle class background was confronted daily by the misery of the working poor of Paris, immortalized in Puccini's La Boheme. He and a group of students founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which now has 700,000 members in 142 countries.
Saint Louis Martin
Saint Louis Martin, the father of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower), canonized along with his wife Marie Azelie Guerin Martin (1831-1877) on October 18, 2015, was an active member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. His brother-in-law, Isadore Guerin, took part in the foundation of the Conference in Lisieux in the year 1874.* *Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin “A Call to a Deeper Love the Family Correspondence of the Parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus (1864-1885)” (Alba House, June 2011) p. 147.
Blessed Marie-Jean Joseph Lataste, O.P.
A Dominican priest, Father Marie-Jean Joseph Lataste is the founder of Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Bethany. As a working layman, he was an active member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and credited the Society with planting the seeds of his religious vocation. He entered the Dominican Novitiate at Flavigny in November 1857 and was ordained on February 8, 1863. He began his apostolate after giving a retreat to incarcerated women in Cadillac, France in the year 1864. He had a great devotion to Saint Joseph and wrote to Pope Pius IX, telling him that he would offer his life so that the name of St. Joseph be added to the Canon of the Mass.(1) He did not live to see his request granted but on November 13, 1962, Pope John XXIII, added St. Joseph’s name to the First Eucharistic Prayer. Father Lataste was declared blessed on June 3rd, 2012,(2) the forty-ninth anniversary of Saint John XXIII’s death. On the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, May 1st, 2013, Pope Francis decreed that the Saint’s name be added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV. (3) 1. Clairval.com February 8 2012. 2. Ibid. 3. Vatican Roman Curia Congregations 130501 May 1, 2013.
Bl. Némésia Valle
"Jesus, empty me of myself, let me be clothed in you. Jesus, for you I live and for you I die..." was a prayer said by Némésia Valle throughout her life.
Bl. Contardo Ferrini
Contardo Ferrini said "If on any particular day we do nothing more than give a little joy to a neighbor, that day will not be wasted. For we have succeeded in giving comfort to an immortal soul."
Bl. Ceferino Giménez Malla
A member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, he was martyred on 9 August 1936 in Spain. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil in July 1936, Ceferino saw a priest being arrested and spoke up on the priest's behalf. The soldiers turned on him and he was eventually executed.
Bl. Giuseppina Nicoli
Giuseppina Nicoli as a Daughter of Charity worked in religious education for the needy of all ages along with girls from wealthy families. She provided a model of direct service to the poor.
St. Agostina Pietrantoni
Saint Agostina Pietrantoni, a Sister of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret, was attacked and killed by a patient she cared for as she uttered words of forgiveness and invocations to Mary.
Bl. Anna Marta Wiecka
Sister Marta Anna Wiecka learned that a hospital worker who was a young father had been given the job of disinfecting the room of someone sick with highly contagious typhoid fever. She volunteered to take the place of the young man, and she became ill with typhoid fever.
Bl. Enrichetta Alfieri
Sister Enrichetta Alfieri (1891-1951), from the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide, was involved in pastoral work in the city prisons before. The prison of Saint Victor in Milan became her home, the place of her love. She used to say: « Charity is a fire which likes to expand while it burns; I will suffer, work and pray in order to attract souls to Jesus. » She was arrested during the Second World War because she helped the prisoners who were victims of the Nazi-Fascist violence.
Bl. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, SC
During her time at the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ, many individuals remarked on Teresa's humility and genuine piety. She could be found kneeling in the college chapel at all hours and was very devoted to praying the rosary.
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
As a child, Pier Giorgio Frassati once answered the door of the family home to find a mother begging; her son, shoeless, was with her. Pier Giorgio gave the boy his own shoes.
Bl. Joseph Mayr-Nusser
In 1944, Joseph Mayr-Nusser, Italian layman, a Catholic husband and father, refused to take the oath of allegiance to Hitler after being drafted into the German army. He died on the way to Dachau concentration camp, to which he had been sentenced. At the age of 22 he joined the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. He was beatified on March 18, 2017. Pope Francis called Blessed Joseph a model for all laymen and fathers “on account of his great moral and spiritual stature.”
St. Gianna Beretta Molla
St. Gianna Beretta Molla placed the life of her unborn child before her own. She is the patron saint for mothers, preborn children and physicians.
Spanish Martyrs of the 20th Century
54 from the Congregation of the Mission, 29 Daughters of Charity, 14 lay Vincentians, and 5 diocesan priests who were their Vincentian spiritual advisors were killed "in odium fidei", as a result of the hatred of the Catholic faith.
Bl. Lindalva Justo De Oliveira
Lindalva Justo De Oliveira, Daughter of Charity was brutally murdered by a resident were she worked.
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An excellent introduction to Vincentian saints and blesseds.
The presentation of Vincentian saints and Blesseds is brief but fascinating.
IT IS VERY NICE THAT THESE VINCENTIAN SAINTS AND BLESSEDS FOLLOWED THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS AND BEING A ROLE MODEL TO ALL
What a great privilege for us who are willing to be evangelizers of the poor through imitating Christ, to reflect more deeply on the life of these heroes and apply some of their charitable qualities and values into our daily lives.
Thank you Kasi: what a beautiful comment.
IT IS VERY NICE THAT THESE VINCENTIAN SAINTS AND BLESSEDS FOLLOWED THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS AND BEING A ROLE MODEL TO ALL 😀 😀 😀
An excellent and brief history. Very good for beginners and readers in Vincentian Missionary life. Congrats to the team who prepared this and kudos to their hard work. May the good Lord bless them.
Thank you, Sir. Yes it was intended for beginners, or as a quick overview. There are always new ones that we will keep adding– for example I became aware of Sister Enrichetta Alfieri
How about Blessed Francis Ana Cirer Carbonell, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Mallorca, Spain?
Thank you so much Fr. Astor! Very happy to include her!
Very nice for the ordinary people to understand the spirit of vincentians
Thank you, Joseph!