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1910 New Catholic Dictionary

Vincentians

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A congregation of priests and laymen, founded at Paris, 1625, by Saint Vincent de Paul. The special object of the congregation determines that each member, besides devoting himself to his own perfection, shall be employed in preaching the Gospel to the poor, especially to poor country people, and in helping ecclesiastics to the knowledge and virtues requisite for their state. In many countries they are called Lazarists, from the Priory of Saint Lazare, in Paris, where Saint Vincent de Paul dwelt, and where he established his principal works. In English-speaking countries they are generally known as Vincentians, and they are called Paules in Spanish countries. During the lifetime of the founder establishments were made not only in France but also in Poland and in Italy, and the congregation undertook missionary work in Ireland, the Hebrides, Barbary, and Madagascar. In the interval between the death of Saint Vincent (1660), and the French Revolution, forty-three theological and nine preparatory seminaries were established in France by the Vincentians. In 1641, a papal Bull authorized an establishment in Rome; in 1697 the pope gave them the house and church of Saints John and Paul on the Coolian Hill. They were called to Genoa, 1645; to Turin, 1655; to Naples, 1668. Charles II invited them to London for his chapel, as Louis XIV had done in France for his chapel at Versailles. In Poland, in the time of John Casimir, they were summoned to Warsaw, 1651; and later to many other cities, so that before the Revolution Poland was one of the most flourishing provinces. They established themselves at Barcelona, Spain, and from there made several other settlements. They reached Portugal in 1718, and at the time of the Revolution of 1834 there were six establishments in the country. During the 18th century the Vincentians passed over into China; they were called to Macao by the Portuguese Government in 1784, and directed many houses of education there; after the suppression of the, Jesuits they replaced that order in the Levant and in China. At the outbreak of the French Revolution there were in France, Spain, Portugal, and the Palatinate, along with the missions outside Europe, about 150 Vincentian establishments. During the Revolution all the Vincentian foundations in France were destroyed. In 1804 an imperial decree reestablished the Congregation; under the government of the Restoration, 1816, a royal ordinance recognized it and in 1901 the Council of State considered it as legally recognized in France. The Vincentians had gone to Ireland during Saint Vincent's lifetime; they gave missions and heard confessions, but were forced to flee the country during Cromwell's regime. On the foundation of Maynooth College, 1798, one of the priests returned and in 1832 a new community was organized. The first Scotch house was established at Lanark, 1859; the Australian mission was begun in 1885; and the Congregation was brought to the United States, 1816. Statistics: 240 houses or mission residences, 4,107 religious, of whom 2,620 are priests.


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Bibliography Information
Entry for 'Vincentians'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ncd/v/vincentians.html. 1910.

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