Vincent Pallotti was born on April 21, 1795. His life belongs to an era of radical change. In these difficult times, Pallotti was educated and carried out his priestly ministry.
From his boyhood years, he sought personal perfection with an extraordinary fervor, but did not isolate himself from the world. He gave generously of his help and presence wherever needed, especially to young people.
He was ordained a priest on May 16, 1818. For Pallotti, priestly life was a full-time task and a humble service. He was best known as a preacher and a confessor. During parish missions he touched many who had minimal contact with the Church. Many who listened to him began to live a more coherent Christian life, and it was not long before he became known as the “Apostle of Rome.”
Despite his numerous activities, Pallotti never lost sight of the untold needs of people. He could be found pleading for support in the villas of the rich . He frequently came with aid to the poor. He gave comfort to the sick and dying. He visited prisons, and without hesitation was a companion of the condemned, even to the place of execution. For abandoned children, he opened residential homes and evening trade schools for adults.
There were so many needs to be met, which was such an enormous task, that he invited the help of priests, religious and lay people to participate in these endeavors. For him, it was imperative to unite every available source to help in the effort to revive faith and promote the love of God and neighbor.
It was with this intent, that in 1835 Vincent Pallotti founded the Union of the Catholic Apostolate. There were to be no distinctions made, because Pallotti was convinced that all the faithful, each in his or her own role in life and each according to personal ability, can be an apostle and can cooperate to further the growth and deepening of faith and love
Vincent Pallotti died on January 22, 1850 Pope Pius XII proclaimed him “Blessed” and in 1963j, Pope John XIII formally declared him a Saint.
Spirituality of Pallotti
The dynamic principle on which the multi-faceted apostolic activities of St.Vincent Pallotti were founded was his personal faith experience. God gave him, as a gift of the Spirit, a profound experience of His infinite love and mercy. According to Vincent Pallotti, the most profound motivation the divine action is infinite love. For this reason men and women, created in the image and likeness of God, reach the full understanding of the meaning of life when they continually exercise the love of God and love of neighbor (cf.1 Jn 4:16). This experience permits men and women to understand Christ as the Apostle of the Eternal Father. All that Jesus achieved during his life on earth derives from his love of the Father and from his saving love of all people (cf. OOCC III, 175 ff.). To live the love of God our Father and love of our neighbor in imitation of Christ is the secret of the apostolic efficacy of every Christian. For Vincent Pallotti, therefore, love is the essential motive for anyone who wishes to collaborate in the apostolate. The following of Christ and participation in His mission to save all people are inseparable. In as much as all called to be disciples all are obliged to apostles (cf. OOCCIII, 142).
Mary, Queen of Apostles, is, “after Jesus Christ, the most perfect model of true Catholic zeal and perfect charity, because she was so committed to the greater glory of God and the good of souls… That she surpassed he Apostles in merit” (OOCC I, 7). This title of Mary, Queen of Apostles, is for St. Vincent a symbol, a program, a more efficacious example and a more perfect model for the apostolate of the faithful.
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