We should love the poor with peculiar affection, beholding in them the very person of Christ, and showing them the same consideration that He did. -St. Vincent de Paul
St. Hedwig, Queen of Poland, served the poor on her knees, and washed their feet. St. Stephen, King of Hungary, and others, did the same.
The venerable Monseigneur de Palafox, after he was a bishop, gave a dinner every Thursday to twelve poor men, and was present at it himself. But one day, reading the Life of St. Martin, he found that that Saint gave food to the poor with his own hands, and washed their feet. He decided to do the same, and carried out his plan inflexibly on every Wednesday and Saturday, distributing to all who came, the contents of two large pots, and doing this with his own hands, remaining, in the mean time, on his knees, and with his head uncovered. At the close of the distribution, he washed the feet of the poor; and he did all this with the same pleasure and earnestness that he would have felt in doing it to Jesus Christ visibly present. This produced in his heart a great respect for the poor, for he thought every time he met a poor man that he beheld God himself.
Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).