Saint Vincent de Paul returns to Paris and knows persecution.
Saint Vincent de Paul could have stayed and basked in the glory that was Rome, but knew he had to go on to Paris. News of his involvement in the conversion of the apostate came to the attention of Pope Paul V and in 1608, Vincent was commissioned to go to Henry IV on a confidential mission. Vincent departed for Paris, poste-haste.
Because Saint Vincent de Paul was not otherwise employed, the King asked him to be the Queen's chaplain. The Queen told the King she sincerely repented her past conduct and wanted to change her life, and that she gladly accepted Father Vincent as her Spiritual Director and confessor. The Queen became very devoted; soon everyone looked upon her with admiration. Her selfishness replaced by selflessness, her life became filled with great acts of mercy and charity.
Queen Margot entrusted Father Vincent with the task of distributing great sums of silver to the poor and visiting the sick in the Hospital of Charity. Now, although Father preferred visiting the poor, he obeyed the Queen and ministered to the nobility. It was on such an occasion, he met King Henry IV's son, the Dauphin and future King Louis XIII. While in the service of Queen Margot, Father Vincent returned to his interrupted studies and followed the lessons being given at the Sorbonne, with the idea of receiving a degree in Canon Law. He studied industriously, but never at the expense of his duty to the Queen and the poor. He distributed large sums to the poor, never keeping a coin for himself. He refused to live in the Palace.
Saint Vincent de Paul chose to board, out of humility, in a modest lodging in the area of Saint Germain. It was owned by a Judge of the Tribunal, Monsieur de Sore. Vincent was so happy, but his peace was to be short-lived. One day, when Vincent was sick in bed, with a fever (from an illness contracted in Africa), the Judge entered the room and, as was his custom, placed a large sum of money in the safe. But in a hurry and somewhat distracted, instead of leaving the key in a safe place, he left it on the server. Later the delivery boy from the pharmacy brought medicine to Father Vincent. Upon seeing him sound asleep, and noticing the key, he opened the safe and stole all the contents. On his return, the judge seeing the safe ajar and his money gone, accused Vincent.
Although Saint Vincent de Paul calmly protested he was innocent, he was not able to prove it; he was not believed and was to bear the stigma of being a thief for six years. During the six long years, without friends, and anyone who believed in him, he never endeavored to defend himself. He just bore the scandal, resignedly repeating over and over again, "God knows the truth." Finally six years after the fact, the truth always surfacing, the criminal was arrested for another crime and, wanting to clear his conscience, confessed to the crime Vincent had been accused of. Saint Vincent never told anyone of his ordeal. Instead he used this as a teaching on retreats. Without using any names, he stressed the positive rather than remember and dwell on the negative, teaching that we can sustain the pain of false accusations, which pierce our hearts, by remembering always that God in His timetable will reveal the truth, if it is His Will. Thank God, even if it was after six years, that in Vincent's case, it was God's Will!
Saint Vincent de Paul DVD
One of the most powerful Saints of France. He was sold into slavery.
Go to Paris and the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, where his incorrupt heart is venerated.
Go to the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul where his life story is recounted in stained glass windows and where his incorrupt body is visible.
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Saint Ignatius of Loyola
- Poet - Mystic - Author Defender of the Faith - Founder of the Society of
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