A Year with the Saints – 20 February


Missionaries should rejoice to be considered poor in talent, birth and virtue, the dregs and off scouring of the world. They should be glad whenever there arises any opportunity for abjection and contempt, even though it be not for themselves alone, but also extending to the Congregation. And by this test they will be able to know what progress they are making in humility. Saint Vincent de Paul

This Saint, who knew well the great value of humiliations, was so fond of them that a worthy ecclesiastic, who knew him thoroughly, said that he had never been acquainted with any man in the world, who was so ambitious to rise and to be esteemed and honored, as this humble servant of God was desirous to lower and abase himself, and to receive humiliation, confusion, and contempt, so that he seemed to have chosen them as his treasure even in this life. For this cause, he used every effort to take advantage of all occasions of the kind that might offer themselves, and from everything he derived motives for humiliation. And with the same earnestness that he sought it for himself, he desired it also for his Congregation, which he was eager to have despised and held in low estimation. And whenever this happened, he rejoiced not a little. Saint Jane Frances de Chantal once undertook an affair of much importance, and then instantly abandoned it, on considering that success would reflect great credit upon herself. To those who wondered how she had been able to wind up and dispose of so important a matter so readily, she answered: “As soon as the splendor of the Sovereign’s majesty revealed itself to my eyes, I was so dazzled and blinded that I could no longer see anything. Ah!” she repeated many times, “the splendor of the daughters of the Visitation is to be without splendor, and all their glory lies in humility and abjection.”

MLA Citation