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Vincent de Paul, the "peasant priest" and future apostle of charity, was ordained at the age of 20. After an unspectacular start as chaplain to Queen Margaret of Valois, he came to grasp the appalling spiritual and temporal condition of the French peasantry, and set out upon his astonishing apostolate. He founded the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians, or Lazarists) for the preaching of missions and the teaching of seminarians, and before his death in 1660 they were laboring from the Hebrides to Africa, from helping the poor to ransoming Christian slaves. The, with the aid of St. Louise de Marillac, "Monsieur Vincent" organized the Sisters of Charity, a glorious feature of Catholic life ever since. His activities ranged from chaplaincy to the galley slaves imprisoned in the Concirgerie to easing the death of King Louis XIII. He devised many types of spiritual exercises as well.
Mass of a CONFESSOR OF THE FAITH, except
O God, you endowed blessed Vincent with apostolic zeal and authority to preach the Gospel to the poor and to add glory to the priesthood. May we venerate his holy life and profit by the example of his virtue. Through our Lord . . .
GOSPEL Luke 10:1-9
At that time, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two. And he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: "The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."
Accept this offering which we humbly present in honor of Thy Saints, O God, and through it purify our bodies and our souls. Through our Lord . . .
Almighty God, we pray that the reception of this bread of heaven may strengthen us against all adversity through the intercession of Your blessed Confessor Vincent. Through our Lord . . .