Unique Vincent Image

The Vincentiana collection at De Paul University’s Office of Mission and Ministry has acquired a unique and poignant water color image of Vincent de Paul entitled: “Monsieur” Vincent, Aumônier des Galères priez pour nous.” (“Monsieur Vincent, Chaplain of the Galleys, pray for us.”)

The image portrays Vincent freeing a galley convict who kneels before him.  The painting includes an image of a galley at sea.  In the lower right hand corner the image is signed: “En captivité. Pont St. Vincent.  19 – VII – 40.”

The artist’s signature is then below.  Research has led us to believe that the image was painted by a French POW who had been stationed at the fort overlooking the town of Pont-St. Vincent, located in the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle in the northeast of France.  The fort was part of the vast border fortifications built by France after its defeat by Germany in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war.  This particular fort guarded the area between Langres and Mirecourt and the valley of the Moselle. The fort was captured in June 1940 during the German Blitzkrieg of France.  The painting is dated July 19, 1940.  The artist’s signature is difficult to read.  For more information on this fort, and the French border fortification system visit the following website: http://fortiffsere.fr/troueedecharmes/index_fichiers/Page4584.htm

New Bronze Bust Acquired

The Vincentiana Art Collection of De Paul University’s Division of Mission and Ministry has recently acquired an early 20th century cast bronze bust of a Daughter of Charity.  The piece is signed by the Austrian artist Adolf Josef Pohl (1872-1930).

The bust is very finely crafted, and captures the difficult details and proportions of the sister’s cornette.  The piece is 9” in height and 7” in width.  There is a foundry mark as well.  The bust joins the other more than 200 pieces of Vincentian fine art in the Division’s collection including other bronzes, paintings, tapestries, embroidered pieces, and photographs.  Many items in the collections are on public display throughout the university, and in the offices of the Division of Mission and Ministry at 55 E. Jackson Boulevard.  Visitors are always welcome.




Unusual Vincent de Paul portrait acquired

The Vincentiana Collection at the Archives and Special Collections Department of DePaul University has recently acquired an unusual Vincent de Paul portrait.  The painting done in 1974 by the artist George Prout (1913-2016) depicts Vincent de Paul looking into a cradle.  The infant reaches out to grab his finger.  The expression on Vincent’s face is quite charming.  While the depiction of Vincent de Paul with foundlings is all but universal in post-revolutionary iconography of the saint; this particular image has a warmth that puts it in a category of its own.


Martyrs in China

The Vincentiana Collection in Archives and Special Collections at DePaul University has recently acquired a rare black and white postcard c. 1900 which commemorates the massacre of ten French Daughters of Charity at Tien-Tsin in June 1870.  The Chinese attack on the sisters and confreres was part of a backlash against Foreign and missionary presence in China.  Rumors circulated in the local community that the orphan children were being murdered by the sisters and their body parts harvested for medicine.  Two confreres were also massacred.  The churches and missionary compounds were burned to the ground in the attacks.  This postcard commemorates the site of the sisters’ deaths in the garden of the orphanage.  The rebuilt church in the background is Notre Dame des Victoires.  These anti-foreign tensions would continue in China leading thirty years later to the famous Boxer rebellion.


Rare chasuble acquired

The Vincentiana Art Collection of the Division of Mission and Ministry of DePaul University has recently acquired an early 20th century Spanish “fiddleback” chasuble.  The beautiful white silk vestment has elaborate floral embroidery motifs, silver metallic and jeweled borders.  The front of the vestment has a charming cartouche of Saint Vincent and two foundlings.  The back side of the vestment has a cartouche of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.

New Watercolor Acquired

The Vincentiana Art Collection of the Division of Mission and Ministry of DePaul University has recently acquired a charming 19th-century sepia watercolor of Saint Vincent de Paul with Foundlings by the 19th-century British author Hannah Mary Rathbone (b. 1798. d. 1878).

For more information about Rathbone’s life and literary career see her Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Mary_Rathbone.



Louise de Marillac enters St. Peter’s Basilica

The Vincentian Studies Institute recently purchased two photographs from February 1954 that capture the delivery of the monumental statue of Saint Louise de Marillac to Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.   Louise’s canonization took place in 1934.  Her statue became the thirty-ninth and last, to fill one of the internal niches of St. Peter’s.  The sheer size of the sculpture emerges in scale against the figures of the various workers.  The photographs will join the Vincentiana collection at the Archives and Special Collections Department of DePaul University’s, John T. Richardson Library.


DePaul University Purchases Letter written by Saint Vincent de Paul

The Vincentian Studies Institute of DePaul University recently purchased a Vincent de Paul Letter.  The letter is from the saint to Firmin Get an early Lazarist who at the time was superior of the house at Marseilles.   The letter is dated from Paris, April 19, 1658.  This is a previously known letter numbered #2574 (volume 7) by Pierre Coste, C.M., in his multi-volume “Correspondence, Conference, Documents” collection. The saint’s secretary Brother Bertrand Ducournau wrote the letter from dictation.  The piece is signed by Vincent.  This letter will join the growing collection of Vincent manuscript letters and documents at the Archives and Special Collections Department of DePaul University’s, John T. Richardson Library.




Newsnote: Saint Vincent de Paul Society Centennial Holy Card (1833-1933)

The Vincentiana collection at the Archives/Special Collections Department of DePaul University’s John Richardson LIbrary has recently acquired this example of a holy card celebrating the centennial (1833-1933) of the foundation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The image shows Frederic Ozanam ministering to the poor in whom he finds Christ. His work is blessed and inspired by Saint Vincent de Paul.

Newsnote: 19th century Daughter of Charity Tisaniere acquired

The Vincentiana Collection in the Archives/Special Collections Department of DePaul University’s Richardson Library recently acquired this rare example of a mid to late 19th century French porcelain tisaniere (teapot) molded in the figure of a Daughter of Charity. This quaint example illustrates the popularity of the Daughters of Charity as the proto-typical “bonne soeurs” of 19th century France.