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Vincent DePaul

Let us work!

Let us love God my brothers, let us love God. But let it be with the strength of our arms and the sweat of our brow.

Outpourings of affection for God, of resting in his presence, of good feelings toward everyone and sentiments and prayers like these ... are suspect if they do not express themselves in practical love which has real effects.

In spite of my age (79), I tell you before God that I do not feel excused from the responsibility of working for the salvation of the poor. For what could really get in the way of my doing that now? If I cannot preach every day, all right, I'll preach twice a week. If I cannot preach more important sermons, I will preach less important ones. If the congregation cannot hear me at a distance, what is to prevent me from speaking in an informal, more familiar way to those poor just as I am speaking to you right now? What is to hinder me from gathering them near me just as you are sitting around me now?

When you are called from your prayers or the Eucharistic celebration to serve the poor, you lose nothing, since to serve the poor is to go to God. You must see God in the faces of the poor.

The poor have much to teach you.
You have much to learn from them.

The net result of my experience on the matter is the judgment I have formed, that true religion - true religion, Gentlemen, true religion is to be found amongst the poor.

The poor are your masters. You are the servant.

Let us, my sisters, cherish the poor as our masters, since Our Lord is in them, and they are in Our Lord.

Let us work with a new love in the service of the poor, looking for the most destitute and abandoned among them. Let us recognize that before God they are our lords and masters, and we are unworthy to render them our small services.

How to treat the poor.

Whenever I happened to speak abruptly to the convicts, I spoiled everything. But whenever I praised them for their acceptance and showed them compassion, whenever I sympathized with them in their sorrows, when I kissed their chains, and showed them how upset I was when they were punished, then they always listened to me and even turned to God.

A missionary needs patience and restraint in his works with those to whom he is sent. The poor can be so unrefined, so ignorant ... If an individual hasn't the gentleness to put up with their crudeness, what can he hope to accomplish? Nothing at all. On the contrary, he will dishearten those poor ones. When they feel his sharpness, they will be put off and will not return to learn those things which are needed for them to be saved. Gentle patience, then, is demanded of us.


We should assist the poor in every way, and do it both by ourselves and by enlisting the help of others.

Love is inventive, even to infinity.

A partnership with God.

We cannot better secure our happiness than to live and die in the service of the poor.

What! To be a Christian and see a Brother afflicted without weeping with him, without being sick with him, would be to be without charity, to be a mere picture of a Christian, to be without humanity, to be worse than brute beasts!

My God! What a wonderful title and what a beautiful description ... Servants of the poor! It is the same as saying Servants of Jesus Christ, for He regards as done to Himself what is done to them. What did He do while on earth but serve the poor?

Work for the poor is tiring.

Give me persons of prayer and they will be capable of anything.

Food for Thought

Catholic universities will be particularly attentive to the poorest and to those who suffer economic, social, cultural or religious injustice. This responsibility begins within the academic community but it also finds application beyond it.

Pope John Paul II, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (40)