Statute 1 of our Rule states: “The Essential Elements of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are Spirituality, Friendship and Service.” It is the Spirituality element that has allowed our Society to flourish throughout the world for 188 years. Our Spirituality also allows to be and see the face of Christ in our interactions with Vincentians and Neighbors.
Our principal founder, Frédéric Ozanam, sets an inspiring example for us. Here is how his wife described his faith life: “I never saw him wake up or fall asleep without making the sign of the cross and praying. In the morning he read the Bible, in Greek, on which he meditated about half an hour. In the last years of his life, he went to Mass every day for his support and consolation. He never did anything serious without praying.
Before leaving for his classes, he always got on his knees to ask God for the grace of saying nothing which would attract public praise to himself, but of only speaking for the glory of God and the service of the truth.” (cf. Manual 2.2)