St. Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)

Artist: 
Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Artist's Narrative:
St. Vincent Pallotti lived his entire life in Rome, the city of his birth. He was ordained a Catholic priest when he was 23 years old. His spirituality was especially marked by his deep love for the poor and underprivileged.

As a child he gave his own food and clothing away to those he saw in need. Throughout his life his constant concern was to relieve the suffering of those around him. At the end of his life he died of an illness he contracted after giving his coat to someone else who was cold.

He taught that every human being was a mirror of God, worthy of reverence and love. He also taught that the role of each Christian was to be a sacrament of Christ’s presence in the world. He was a warm friend and a compassionate spiritual director.

In his day it was rare for Catholic laity to share in the social outreach of their church. This had become the special domain of clergy and professional religious. Vincent believed that every Christian was called to share these responsibilities. In 1835 he founded the Union of the Catholic Apostolate to help get Christians from every walk of life more involved in making their society more compassionate. This organization, with its clerical, religious, and lay branches, did much to relieve suffering in the cholera epidemic that hit Rome two years later, and has continued to grow since that time.

His feast day is January 22.

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