To sustain his ever-growing vision of love of Christ and service
to the poor, Vincent de Paul lived a spirituality he shared with
his religious communities and lay co-workers. To encourage
spiritual growth, Vincent cultivated virtues he believed essential
to follow Jesus faithfully as a servant of the poor. They came to
him in his prayer, reflection, and service.
The virtues that Vincent de Paul held out as foundations for
spiritual growth are humility, meekness, simplicity, zeal, and
self-denial. He traced each of these virtues to the life and
teachings of Jesus; in fact, he often reminded his followers “Jesus
Christ is the first rule of the mission”. Lived faithfully, these
virtues formed a “way” to love God and serve the poor that would
enable Vincent and his followers to proceed calmly and steadfastly
in facing the many trials and tribulations of living out the Gospel
of Jesus Christ.
By his life and witness, Vincent de Paul gave humility,
meekness, simplicity, zeal, and self-denial a human face, and
engendered a spirituality of love of God and service to the poor
that is a beautiful blend of contemplation and action.