St. Vincent de Paul was born on April 24, 1581, and died on September 27, 1660, which is now his feast day. He was a priest of the Catholic Church who became dedicated to serving the poor. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. St. Vincent was canonized in 1737. He is the Patron Saint of charitable organizations, hospitals, prisoners and spiritual works. Two fundamental characteristics of St. Vincent that merit attention are Prayer and Practical Love.
Prayer--St. Vincent is quoted as saying “Give me a person of prayer and he or she will be capable of anything.” This great man of action was also a contemplative, caught up in God and consumed by God’s love.
Practical Love--St. Vincent was eminently practical, an organizational genius who urges us to “. . . make your affective love effective.” People flocked to work with him; collaboration has been a hallmark of true Vincentian work.