Vincent de Paul, Founder of the Congregation of Lazarists

27 September -- Lesser Festival -- Religious -- White

Born in 1581 at Ranquine in Gascony, Vincent was educated by the Franciscans and was ordained at the age of nineteen. He was something of a token priest until his conversion in 1609, when he resolved to devote himself and all he owned to works of charity. He founded communities for men and, with Louise de Marillac, helped to begin the Sisters of Charity, the first community of women not to be enclosed and which was devoted to caring for the poor and sick. Vincent worked for the relief of galley slaves, victims of war, convicts and many other groups of needy people. He became a legend in his own lifetime and died on this day in the year 1660.

Collect

Merciful God,
whose servant Vincent de Paul,
by his ministry of preaching and pastoral care,
brought your love to the sick and the poor:
give to all your people a heart of compassion
that by word and action they may serve you
   in serving others in their need;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually.

This is the word of the Lord.         Isaiah 58. 6-11a

Responsorial Psalm

R Your light shall break forth like the dawn
[the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard].
Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?
who may abide upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right,
who speaks the truth from his heart. R

There is no guile upon his tongue;
he does no evil to his friend;
he does not heap contempt upon his neighbour. R

In his sight the wicked are rejected,
but he honours those who fear the Lord.
He has sworn to do no wrong
and does not take back his word. R

He does not give his money in hope of gain,
nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
shall never be overthrown. R         Psalm 15

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength. Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Corinthians 1. 25-31

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

The king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."

Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?" And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 25. 34-40

Post Communion

Merciful God,
who gave such grace to your servant Vincent de Paul
that he served you with singleness of heart
and loved you above all things:
help us, whose communion with you
   has been renewed in this sacrament,
to forsake all that holds us back from following Christ
and to grow into his likeness from glory to glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.