Happy Feast Day, Blessed Rosalie!

(posted: February 1 2019)

Happy Feast Day, Blessed Rosalie!

Conferences do not forget the one who undoubtedly can be called our first Spiritual Advisor:
the Blessed Rosalie Rendu, who knew how to stand by our young founders in the beginning,
with her advice and example, afterwards letting them walk in their own,
in response to their lay vocation.
She always remained at their disposal for everything they could need from her.
She was an example of a mother
who dreamed of the formal and responsible independence
of those children who sought her help
in the first months of their journey.
(from The International Rule of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul)

February 7 is Blessed Rosalie Rendu's feast day. Our Society owes a great deal to this remarkable woman. Without her influence one cannot help but wonder how that small group of well-intentioned students would have managed to establish what has become the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Our founders were sons of families who were financially secure enough to send them to Paris to study law or medicine. None had any experience with the dreadful situations they would encounter in the poorest neighbourhoods of that city. When the young Frederic Ozanam announced, "Let us go out to the poor!" the group's intentions were inspired by God, but they were unprepared.

The reputation of Sister Rosalie had reached Emmanuel Bailly who sent those eager students to her for instruction and guidance. This woman of great compassion, endless energy and true love for ‘her poor' was able to mentor, share and guide what would become the Vincentian way: visiting those neighbours in need, ministering with love, respect, justice and joy.

Blessed Rosalie secured the foundation of our Society but she accomplished many more things in those poor neighbourhoods. She trained young sisters, established a free clinic, a school, a pharmacy, a youth club and a home for elderly people who had no resources. Our SSVP motto, "No work of charity is foreign to our Society" could have been modeled on Blessed Rosalie's life. She was loved and admired by both rich and poor.

Vincentians are familiar with some of Blessed Rosalie's messages. We take them as our own.
You will go and visit the poor ten times a day, and ten times a day you will find God there.

If you want someone to love you, you must be the first to love,
and if you have nothing to give, give yourself.

Never have I prayed so well as in the streets.

Inspired by Blessed Rosalie Rendu, let us continue our mission of love. May her example be our light as we walk the path outlined by our founders.


Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee