St. Vincent de Paul, true celebration of love
The feast of St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) is celebrated by the Church on September 27,and in particular at the French Hospital in Nazareth. In Jerusalem the feast was celebrated on Saturday, September 29 at the Hospice of St. Vincent de Paul. Both masses were well attended..
Mass at St. Vincent de Paul in Jerusalem …
In his homily, Bishop William Shomali emphasized the great figure of St. Vincent de Paul: “Many in the world: priests, religious and lay people are inspired by his spirituality. Indeed, St. Vincent, their model, is a giant in the sphere of charity.” To whom is this charity addressed if not to the poor? But who are the poor of today? One thing is certain, according to the Auxiliary Bishop for Jerusalem: “their number and percentage is increasing.” Wars are a cause of poverty in the world. But not only wars. There are also drought, corruption, waste, selfishness and poor distribution of goods.”
It is impossible, in this regard, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. “They suffer from hunger, lack of water, heat, poor living conditions, abandonment, boredom, despair, desert sand and soon they will suffer from the cold.”
But it is not only material poverty that needs to be considered. There is also moral and mental suffering of which Mother Teresa of Calcutta said that: “Loneliness and the feeling of not being loved is the greatest poverty.” Bishop William Shomali concluded by asking for the intercession of St. Vincent for ourselves and for all those who suffer in the world.
And … at the French hospital in Nazareth
On September 27, a solemn Mass was held in the Chapel of the French Hospital in Nazareth. Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar of Nazareth was the celebrant joined by a group of priests of different rites. Almost 150 people came including the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and Haifa, hospital directors, physicians, nurses and staff and many friends from Nazareth and the surrounding area.
In his homily, Bishop Marcuzzo focused on three distinctive points of the life and work of St. Vincent, a great man of the 17th century: charity, evangelization of the poor and formation. The Bishop also recalled the Bible verse that inspired the Mass: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. (Lk 4:18). This is a messianic verse that crossed the entire history of the Church and inspired many along the path to holiness, including that of Vincent de Paul.
Bishop Marcuzzo noted, that the real purpose of true evangelization is the poor in the broadest sense of the word: “those who have God as life line and support, those who have an attitude of humility and those who thirst for God.”
At the end of the celebration, Dr. Salim Nakhleh director of the French Hospital in Nazareth, warmly thanked everyone present and on behalf of Sister Dorita Alcalde, the Superior of the Daughters of Charity.