Marketing and Profiting from Vincent de Paul

The Vincentiana material culture collection at DePaul University’s Archives and Special Collections Department possesses a large number of devotional items (holy cards, statues, medals, prints) of Vincent de Paul created over the last four hundred years.  These items not only reflect the popularity of Vincent de Paul, but the potential profit of that popularity.  After all, printers would not have put out editions of Vincent de Paul holy cards and images if there weren’t a ready supply of interested buyers.  Supply and demands works as inexorably with devotion as it does with capitalism.  One of the most interesting ways to use Vincent’s name and image to brand an item for sale was several historical examples of “elixirs” or patent medicines designed to cure a variety of ailments, including the ever-popular “anemia.”  It appears that some of these were directly or indirectly sponsored by the Daughters of Charity themselves.  Attached is an example of a late 19th century advertisement for such a medicinal product.