Charity is at the heart of the church, pope tells Vincentians

(CNS) St. Vincent de Paul’s zeal for helping the poor was the instrument God used to bring about a “burst of generosity in the church,” Pope Francis said.

The “small seed” of his humility, meekness and charity grew into a great tree that makes up the two congregations he founded — the Daughters of Charity and the Congregation of the Mission, the pope said in a letter sent Sept. 27 to members of the “Vincentian family” celebrating the 400th anniversary of their founding.

“At the heart of the Vincentian family is searching out the most miserable and abandoned in a radical awareness that it is unworthy to deprive them of our humble service,” the pope said.

Along with St. Louise de Marillac, St. Vincent de Paul founded the Daughters of Charity in France in 1617. The congregation’s work with the poor in France paved the way for the founding of its male counterpart, the Congregation of the Mission. [More]

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CNS/NCR Online