It was the usual custom of St. Vincent de Paul to regard his own interests as if they belonged to others, and those of others as his own, as may be seen in various incidents of his life. It will be sufficient to mention two.

Some of his relatives, who had been summoned before a high tribunal on a grave charge, asked him for letters which might exert an influence in their favor. But he, through zeal for justice, would not interfere in the matter. On the other hand, when some of his friends wished to intercede with the judges on their behalf, he entreated them not to expose themselves to the danger of hindering the course of justice, but rather to wait until their innocence was made certain, just as he would have done in any other similar case.

In the conferences which he had with members of his Congregation, when any business affecting others was under consideration, he would often say: “Let us keep our eyes open to others’ interests as to our own, and let us take care to deal uprightly and honorably with all.” Here surely was a man who did not allow himself to be carried away by natural inclinations, either in his own affairs or those of others!

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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