Saint Vincent de Paul

27th September

In Malta the name of St Vincent de Paul is synonymous with the long-term facility hospital in Luqa. In its mission statement it is stated that it aims to provide “a client-focused care through innovation practices and specialised geriatric care for highly dependent persons with complex needs.”

The name of St Vincent de Paul goes beyond the Maltese islands. The Society of St Vincent de Paul is in fact an international Catholic organisation with the primary aim of offering personal services to the poor or needy. They are known for organising thrift stores selling donated goods to raise funds for this purpose. Besides, they organise outreach programmes to address the implementation of social services.

St Vincent de Paul founded the Vincentians, a Roman Catholic society of priests and the Daughters of Charity, a congregation of nuns.  The main focus of both institutions is to address the needs of abandoned individuals in society.

The key principle underlying  the mission of St. Vincent de Paul is the virtue of CHARITY. Growing in the virtue of charity goes beyond being charitable. It is more than just being generous by donating to charities. Charity involves the friendship of man for God, being able to love the way God loves. It means accepting one and all with an open heart, without distinction, irrespective of race and colour. It means making a positive difference.

Create an opportunity to discuss with the children if they can identify people who would welcome others to open their heart to them.  These might include lonely neighbours, elderly people in the parish, refugees who might feel rejected in the community, children at school or in sporting activities who tend to be loners, prone to being bullied. They might even include members of the extended family with whom they don’t get on really well! Let them discover ways how they can make them feel accepted, wanted, loved.

Help the children find out about groups in the Parish and other organisations that function on a national basis, that aim to help the needy and the vulnerable (such as Puttinu Cares and Dar tal-Providenza). Emphasise that most of these entities, although they employ people for specialised services, continue to survive because they are supported by a number of volunteers. 

Charity begins at home. Suggest ways where the children can be of service to others :
– At home they can offer to do a chore that is not one of their responsibilities,
– lay the table before a meal,
– if old enough,  serve members of the family at table,
– offer to fetch and bring when the need arises,
– bake a cake and serve it as a treat to the family!

Help them put up a chart with a colourful image of a heart with a statement in its centre, “God Loves You.” Let members of the family sign in their name with a statement “And So Do I” around it.

During family prayer time, lead the children to verbalise their thoughts into petitions not only for those that are needy, sick and vulnerable but also for all volunteers who offer their time and energy in the service for others.

St Vincent helped and served the poor, those who were condemned to death and the prisoners, all in line with Jesus’s teaching.

Today we are going to make a bookmark!

Let us be like St. Vincent and make others feel they are loved and supported.

We need:

  • Colours/markers/decorations
  • A4 cardboard (any light colour) 
  • Scissors and glue

What to do:

  • On the cardboard draw and cut a rectangle (size 5cm x 20cm)
  • Write a motivational message on the rectangle and decorate with colours/markers/decorations. 
  • You may wish to do more than one! 
  • Take a photo of your bookmark/s and send it to us!

Afterwards, send or give these bookmarks to those who are suffering or passing from difficult moments. You may wish to send your bookmark to the prison or any other social service organisation. 

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.