The Vincentiana Collection at DePaul Universit’s Archives and Special Collections Department has recently acquired a copy of the 1657 announcement about the establishment of the Hospital General of Paris. This controversial institution sought to assist the masses of the urban poor in Paris, but to do so only by depriving the poor of their liberty. The King, Archbishop of Paris and Parlement announced that the Lazaristes and Daughters of Charity would have spiritual responsibility for the institution. However, they had not consulted Vincent de Paul. After consultation Vincent would graciously decline the offer citing a paucity of confreres and sisters. See for example Coste, CCD: 6:257-258, 268-269, 274-275. The booklet had announced: “Les Peres Missionnaires de saint Lazare dont l’on scait assez la grace, ont este establis pour avoir soin du spirituel, sous l’autorite de Monseigneur l’Archevesque de Paris, & les filles de la Communaute de Madamoiselle le Gras, dont la bonne conduite est aussi connue, one este acceptees por le service du sexe.”
The Vincentiana Collection at DePaul University’s Archives and Special Collections has acquired a rare copy of the 1864 biography of Charles Bochart de Champigny (in religion Honore). Champigny was the superior of the French Capuchins who is said to have turned down the request of the young Louise de Marillac to enter the new convent of the Capuchin nuns which had been established in Paris. Interestingly the biography makes no mention of his role with this convent, although it talks about his role as a reformer of several convents of other orders in Paris. After his death in 1624 both Louis XIII and Louis XIV supported opening his cause of canonization. However, Champigny’s cause never progressed passed the recognition of the heroicity of his virtues in 1898.
Notice Historique sur l’origine et les effets de la NOUVELLE MEDAILLE, frappee en l’honneur de l’Immaculee Conception de la Tres Sainte Vierge, et generalement connue sous le nom de Medaille miraculeuse, suivie d’ une neuvaine.By M. *** pretre de la Congregation de la Mission de St.-Lazare. Quatrieme Edition, considerablement augmentee. (Paris: Chez l’auteur, rue de Sevre, 95, et la Societe des Bons Livres, rue des Saint-Peres, 69. 20 Mars 1835.
This rare edition is one of the earliest devotional accounts of the then-new Miraculous Medal. It was published less than five years after the apparitions to Catherine Laboure beginning in July 1830. The author, though anonymous, is believed to have been Jean-Marie Aladel, C.M. who served as the Director General of the Daughters of Charity under Jean-Baptiste Etienne. This work illustrates the amazing rapidity with which devotion to the Medal spread after the introduction of the devotion.
Reglemens de la Compagnie des Dames de la Charite de la Paroisse de S. Paul pour le soin des Pauvres, (Paris: Chez Pierre Colin, Imprimeur & Libraire, rue de la Harpe, proche Saint Cosme, aux quatre Evangelistes, 1669).
The Vincentiana Collection of DePaul University’s Archives and Special Collections has recently acquired a very rare 1669 copy of the rules for the Ladies of Charity for the parish of Saint-Paul in Paris. The parish of Saint-Paul was an early site of the labors of the Daughters (see Coste,CCD4:400), and the Ladies. In June 1652 Vincent describes the work of the Daughters of Charity in this parish: “In Saint-Paul parish alone four or five sisters make the distribution to five thousand poor persons, in addition to the sixty or eight patients they have on their hands.”