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Saint Vincent Pallotti

Saint Vincent Pallotti
  • Century: 18th &19th Century
  • Patronage: -
  • Feast Day: January 22nd

St. Vincent Pallotti was born on April 21, 1795 in Rome.  He was a descendant from the noble families of the Pallotti of Norcia and the De Rossi of Rome.  He studied at the Roman College at the age of sixteen, with a strong desire to become a Priest, and was ordained on May 16, 1820.  Vincent worked selflessly looking after the poor in the urban areas of the city for the most part of his life.  He had an intense devotion to the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity, and to the Virgin Mary.  Most of his contemporaries including the Pope considered him to be a saint during his life.  It was his longing to send missionaries to other parts of the world, and so he founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate, the Society of the Catholic Apostolate.    

He had a strong belief in the spirit of St. Paul, that God wanted to save all people, and it was his intention to start a Catholic Apostolic Society.  While his visionary desire to unite and encourage lay apostolic activity, it did not bear much fruit within his lifetime, although he did everything in his power to encourage his vision in others.  Due to some sensibilities of Roman society, Pope Gregory suppressed his society.  It was not until Vincent’s last defender, Cardinal Lambruscini died in 1854, that the name of the Society was abruptly changed to “The Pious Society of Missions”.  This lasted until 1947 when the Holy See restored it’s original name.    

St. Vincent died on January 22nd, 1850.  When his body was exhumed both in 1906, and again in 1950, examiners found his body to be completely incorrupt.  His body is enshrined in the Church of San Salvatore in Onda, in Rome, where it can be seen still intact.  Pope John XXIII canonized him in 1963.  His followers today are the Pallottines, which still operate internationally.  They follow his motto, “The love of Christ impels us”.  Today members of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate work as everyday missionaries to “renew faith and rekindle love”.  They work to fulfill the mission of their founder in the modern world.  The Pallottines have major houses in Britain, Germany, New York, Poland, India, Ireland and several other locations.  

An interesting fact about St. Vincent, he himself made a Nativity scene that is put on display at the Vatican each year, in the Basilica’s square, before the Christmas tree.  He did this to promote the celebration of the Octave of the Epiphany as an act of unity with his Orthodox brethren who celebrate Christmas on January 6th.  

Practical Take Away

St. Vincent Pallotti was born in Rome, and studied at an early age to become a Priest.  He was ordained and worked in the urban areas of Rome to help the poor.  He had a strong devotion to the Most Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary.  His desire was so strong to help everyone to know Christ and that all might be saved, that he founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate, a lay organization to “renew faith and rekindle love”.   His body was exhumed 100 years after his death, and was found to be completely incorrupt.  His contemporaries, including the Pope were convinced he was a living saint during his life.  He believed in the spirit of St. Paul, that God wanted to save all people, and he worked his entire life towards that goal.