PILGRIMAGE OF THE RELIC OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL’S HEART
Given its status as a relic, Saint Vincent de Paul’s heart was removed immediately after his death. The Duchess d’Aiguillon offered a silver reliquary for it, which then was placed carefully in a cabinet. When Saint Vincent was beatified on 13 August 1729, his body and heart were placed on an altar at Saint Lazare for his feast on 27 September.
On 13 July 1789, during the time of the Commune, the Superior General, Father Cayla de la Garde, entrusted it to Father Siccardi, his Assistant, who managed to take it to Turin hidden in a hollowed-out book. At the request of Cardinal Fesch, the relic returned to Lyon on 1 January 1805.
On 15 February 1947, Sister Blanchot, Superioress General of the Daughters of Charity, met Cardinal Gerlier, Archbishop of Lyon, and expressed to him her desire: “You are not unaware that the heart of Saint Vincent appeared several times to (Sister) Catherine (Labouré). We would like it to be present during the glorification of our Saint.”
When she did not receive a quick response, the Superioress General, a bit impatient, wanted to telephone, but that service was on strike, except for medical emergencies. “Emergency of the Heart,” she responded and at once, by telephone, “Magnificat!” She was authorized to take the relic.
The relic is currently above the altar dedicated to Saint Vincent in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, 140 rue du Bac.
On 25 January 2017, the relic of Saint Vincent’s heart will go on pilgrimage, beginning with his beloved France and then to the “peripheries of this world.”
Saint Vincent says to us today: Dare to be loving!
If you would like to invite Saint Vincent to your parishes, please contact us:
Pèlerinage du cœur de Saint Vincent de Paul
140 rue du Bac
Tel. 33 1 06 47 86 15 08