Posts Tagged ‘slaves’

Since I’m at my parents’ house right now, in lovely Spotsylvania, Virginia where I grew up, I thought I’d do a Southern-type saint. There’s no patron saint of the Civil War that I can find. I did, however, see someone call the Civil War the “War of Southern Liberation” for the first time in my short life. I’ve heard it called the War of Northern Aggression–yes, for real–but this one is new.

I eventually settled on St. Vincent de Paul. I’m not sure he’s quite obscure, since he’s a bigger deal than any other saint I’ve talked about here, but I’d never heard of him so it counts. He’s the patron saint of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, which is the airport I fly into and was the capital of the Confederacy.

And then, dear readers, I wrote an entire post about this man. And then WordPress ate it.

Since I am a little bit lazy, and also since it’s two days late, here are the highlights.

Born 1581 in France. Became a priest; preached in Toulouse; went to Marseilles for some reason. Went back to Toulouse via the sea but on the way was captured by Turkish pirates who sold him in Tunis. Bought by a fisherman who sold him to an old Muslim who’d spent fifty years looking for the philosopher’s stone. Aged Muslim died and his nephew got Vincent. The nephew was a former Christian with three wives, one of whom convinced him to return to the faith.

He did, and escaped with Vincent back to France, leaving his wives behind. I considered an “assholes in the name of God” tag.

Vincent did a bunch of charitable good stuff and I commented that it’s nice for a saint to be canonized for helping the poor instead of guarding her virginity at all costs or whatever. He founded the Lazarists and Sisters of Charity amongst others and does secret missions between the Vatican and Henry IV of France.

I puzzled over why he’s the patron saint of Richmond, and considered that late in his life, he became the spiritual advisor and advocate for the galley slaves of Paris, whose lives sucked really bad. He also used donations from his church in Paris to buy Northern African slaves’ freedom, to the tune of 12,000 people.

I looked him up in the Dictionary of Miracles, and his was a miraculous ability to hold his tongue. Don’t say anything if you can’t say something nice September 27.

Catholic Encyclopedia


Butler’s Lives of the Saints

Christian History Institute

Eternal Word Television Network (note: probably suspect)

Read Full Post »