St. Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580. He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs. Such had been his progress in four years that a gentleman chose him as subpreceptor to his children, and he was thus enabled to continue his studies without being a burden to his parents. In 1596, he went to the University of Toulouse for theological studies, and there he was ordained priest in 1600.
In 1605, on a voyage by sea from Marseilles to Narbonne, he fell into the hands of African pirates and was carried as a slave to Tunis. His captivity lasted about two years, until Divine Providence enabled him to effect his escape. After a brief visit to Rome he returned to France, where he became preceptor in the family of Emmanuel de Gondy, Count of Goigny, and General of the galleys of France. In 1617, he began to preach missions, and in 1625, he lay the foundations of a congregation which afterward became the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, so named on account of the Priory of St. Lazarus, which the Fathers began to occupy in 1633.
It would be impossible to enumerate all the works of this servant of God. Charity was his predominant virtue. It extended to all classes of persons, from forsaken childhood to old age. The Sisters of Charity also owe the foundation of their congregation to St. Vincent. In the midst of the most distracting occupations his soul was always intimately united with God. Though honoured by the great ones of the world, he remained deeply rooted in humility. The Apostle of Charity, the immortal Vincent de Paul, breathed his last in Paris at the age of eighty.
INTROIT Psalm 91:13-14
The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow: planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. Ps 91:2 It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to Your name, Most High. V. Glory be… The just man shall flourish…
O God, Who endowed St. Vincent with apostolic strength to preach the Gospel to the poor and to enhance the dignity of clerical life; grant, we beseech You, that we who honour his holy merits may also conform to the example of his virtues. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
EPISTLE 1 Cor. 4:9-14
Brethren: We have been made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honoured, but we are without honour! To this very hour we hunger and thirst, and we are naked and buffeted, and have no fixed abode. And we toil, working with our own hands. We are reviled and we bless, we are persecuted and we bear with it, we are maligned and we entreat, we have become as the refuse of this world, the off-scouring of all, even until now! I write these things not to put you to shame, but to admonish you as my dearest children, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 36:30-31
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom, and his tongue utters what is right. V. The law of his God is in his heart, and his steps do not falter. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps 111:1 Happy the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 10:1-9
At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two others, and sent them forth two by two before Him into every town and place where He Himself was about to come. And He said to them, The harvest indeed is, great, but the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into His harvest. Go. Behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry neither purse, nor wallet, nor sandals, and greet no one on the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if a son of peace be there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they have; for the labourer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. And whatever town you enter, and they receive you, eat what is set before you, and cure the sick who are there, and day to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 20:2-3
O Lord, in Your strength the just man is glad; in Your victory how greatly he rejoices! You have granted him his heart’s desire.
Grant us, we beseech You, almighty God, that the offering of our lowliness may be pleasing to You in honour of Your Saints and may purify us in both body and mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen
PREFACE of the Common It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 19:28-29
Amen I say to you that you, who have left all things and followed Me, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.
We pray You, almighty God, that we who have received heavenly nourishment may thereby, through the intercession of blessed Vincent, Your Confessor, be sustained against all harm and danger. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen