Thought for the Day – 25 September – The Memorial of St Vincent Strambi C.P. (1745-1824)
When receiving Vincent into the Congregation, St. Paul is said to have remarked that God intended him to reach great heights of sanctity. Acting upon this knowledge of the future, he brought him to live with him, trained him himself for the work of the mission and in many ways showed that he regarded him as a jewel that would one day shed
lustre on the Passionist Congregation. With a wisdom that was his ordinary gift he allowed him to see for himself the harvest of souls that was ready for the skillful reaper, and then withdrew him into solitude, where, by prayer and study, he could perfect himself for the great work he had to do.
It was Vincent‟s great privilege to assist St. Paul of the Cross during his last hours on earth and to be present at his deathbed. So great was the impression made upon him of the sanctity of his friend and spiritual father that he thereupon decided to write his life, and in spite of the haste in which it was written, produced what has always been
considered a masterpiece of religious biography. The English translation of this work is perhaps unique in this that it is the life of a saint written by a saint and introduced by one who is likely to be declared a saint, namely, Blessed
Dominic Barberi, C.P., Apostle of England.
The Passion was the secret of his success, as it was the secret of St. Paul’s success and that of every Passionist missioner today. As he stood on the mission platform, clothed in the black habit of mourning, with the sign of the Passion on his breast and sandals on his feet, who could resist the appeal of his voice as he pointed to the crucifix and told that
story of the immense love of Christ for mankind?
In the bulky volumes that have been written on the profane history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we find little or no mention of this hero of sanctity. The scales of value of historians failed to register one who was neither a soldier, nor a savant, nor a scientist. Yet, if the standards of the soul are higher than those of the body; St. Vincent
Strambi accomplished something that weighed down heavily the scales of Divine value—something that merits an eternal remembrance—he lived a life of virtue and self-denial for God’s sake and he saved innumerable souls. (SAINT VINCENT STRAMBI, C.P. 1745-1824 – OSMUND THORPE, C. P.)
And this is our ‘job’ – this is what we are called to do for God’s sake, we are missioners, going out to save souls!
St Vincent Strambi, pray for us!