Forgotten Truths about Vincent’s Genius

A lineage of fostering a vision of ordinary people collaborating to bring Good News to the Poor
We all know and appreciate his passion for the poor. His foundations came out of his passion for the poor.

But Vincent was also a genius in organizing and networking. His passion for the poor expressed itself through an empowering humility that invited others to share their gifts.

Sometimes I wonder whether his genius at networking is a kind of “forgotten truth” about Vincent.

  • The truth is that he was convinced that others shared his vision and would be generous in their response to needs. “The poor suffer less from a lack of generosity than from a lack of organization.”
  • The truth is that he was humble enough to ask others to help. He was not wedded to any messianic delusions, tendencies of thinking that he had to do it on his own.
  • The truth is that he was adept at involving others in what he saw needed to be done. He found his strength in accepting his limitations.
  • The truth is that so often he had the courage and the skill to walk where none had walked before.

Over 400 years ago he fostered reimagining the role of ordinary people in bringing the good news to the poorer. He gave women a role in the church by organizing female charitable organizations. He modeled collaboration as a way of systemic change.

“I have wished to give women a ministry in the Church, the ministry of charity.”And again, “For more or less eight hundred years women have had no public occupation in the Church. Now this same providence is appealing to some of you.” (“Like a Great Fire”)

This legacy has been championed by Blessed Fredric Ozanam and Pope Francis.

How conscious have we been of this legacy?” is a question that needs to be asked … and answered.

  • How have you been answering this question?
  • What can we do to awaken ordinary people of both sexes to share their gifts as Vincent and Louise did?

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