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Their mission was humble and simple: to reach the poor country people, who suffered from ignorance of their faith, a debased clergy, and poverty. In response, Vincent De Paul defined the vocation of his `Little Company' as preaching local missions for free, educating the clergy, and working to relieve the people's poverty.
Soon, however, this vocation was complicated by commands to minister to royal families, including Louis xiv of France and the kings and queens of Poland, which would embroil the Vincentians in international and ecclesiastical politics. In addition, they would begin dangerous foreign missions, such as ministering to the Christian captives of the Barbary pirates, the debased colonists and rebellious natives of Madagascar, and the vendetta-prone Corsicans.
For the first time, modern readers have a thoroughly researched history based on original documents and the studies of numerous scholars, past and present. It portrays the Vincentians' daily lives and describes their failings as well as their exalted acts of heroism. It also details the social and political milieus that conditioned their lives and work. It is an important, down-to-earth side of history not often told.
This series tells the story of priests and brothers who have worked to improve others spiritual and material welfare for almost four centuries. This work has brought them into contact with the abject poor and the highest royalty and with the peoples and customs of widely disparate countries (in Europe; the Middle East; Asia, including China; North and South America; Africa; and Australia). For the first time, modern readers will have a thoroughly-researched history based on original documents and the studies of numerous scholars, past and present. It gives a thorough picture of the Missioners daily lives and describes their failings as well as their exalted acts of heroism. The current first volume begins with the founding of the Congregation by St. Vincent de Paul in 1625 and relates how his overarching concern for the poor and recognition of the deplorable state of the clergy led to the Congregations major vocations of training priests and preaching missions (parish retreats). Seeking out the most neglected often brought them into dangerous places, like ministering to the captives of the Barbary pirates; to the island of Madagascar, riddled with disease and roiled by the degenerate French colonists; and to Corsica, where the dangers from the famous blood feuds were increased by armed political uprisings. Among other problems, the Missioners often found themselves in the middle of fights between the rulers, the hierarchy and the people. This is an important, down-to-earth side of history not often told. There will be six volumes: 1. From the foundation to the end of the seventeenth century. 2. The eighteenth century to the French Revolution. 3. The French Revolution to 1843, the election of Jean-Baptiste Etienne. 4. From 1843 to 1878, the election of Antoine Fiat. 5. From 1878 to 1914, the First World War. 6.From 1914 to 1984, the publication of the Constitutions of the Congregation.
Buy The Vincentians: A General History of the Congregation of the Mission (Vol. 1: 1625-1697) by Luigi Mezzardri, Jose Maria Roman, Robert Cummings, Joseph E. Dunne & John E. Rybolt from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781565483217 & 1565483219
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