The Meekness of St. Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul was of a bilious-sanguine temperament, and, consequently, much inclined to anger, as he himself admitted to a friend, saying, that when he was in the house of Conde, he allowed himself to be conquered more than once by his disposition to melancholy and to fits of passion.

But having seen that God called him to live in community, and that in such a state he would have to deal with people of every variety of nature and disposition, he had recourse to God, and earnestly prayed Him to change his harsh and unyielding temper into gentleness and benignity; and then he began with a firm purpose to repress those ebullitions of nature.

By prayer and effort combined he succeeded in making such a change, that he seemed no longer to feel any temptations to anger, and his nature was so altered that it became a source of benignity, serenity of countenance, and sweetness of manner, which won for him the affection of all who shared his acquaintance.

As a rule, he received all those who went to his house, with pleasant words, full of respect and esteem, by which he showed his regard for them and his pleasure in seeing them. This he did with all, with the poor as well as those of high rank, adapting himself always to the position of each.

Illustration from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922). Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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