The Resilience of Notre Dame

“On Saturday I am supposed to say Mass at Notre Dame in Paris and to give Communion to the Ladies of Charity of Lorraine…I will go there with God’s help.” St. Vincent de Paul

Sprinkled within Vincent’s letters are multiple references to Notre Dame. Frequently, as in the example above, in the context of saying Mass and often involving the Ladies of Charity. Perhaps we should not be surprised that in the rich tapestry of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral there runs through it this unique Vincentian thread. Today, more than 850 years since the laying of its cornerstone and having withstood warfare and plague, social upheaval and, just days ago, a devastating fire, Notre Dame remains standing. Substance and symbol of the faith and beauty, resilience and struggle that make up the human journey. Upon reflection, might similar attributes be said to distinguish the Vincentian mission, founded 400 years ago in France and now active throughout the world? What do you think? As a member of the DePaul community, how might the Vincentian thread run through your own life?

 


Letter 653 of St. Vincent de Paul to a Nun in Paris

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