Vincent Pallotti

Vincent Pallotti



From Rome, Vincenzo Pallotti worked selflessly looking after the poor in the urban areas of the city for most of his life. He had an intense devotion to the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity, and to the Virgin Mary. His contemporaries, including the pope, considered him a saint during his life. He longed to send missionaries to other parts of the world and founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate, the Society of the Catholic Apostolate that became the Pious Society of Missions. He strongly believed, in the spirit of St. Paul, that God wanted to save all people, and it was his intention to start a Catholic Apostolic Society. Although his visionary desire to unite the factions in the Church and to encourage lay apostolic activity did not bear fruit within his lifetime, he did his utmost to encourage this vision in others. Pallotti was in fact deemed a patron of Vatican II for his efforts toward building unity in the Church through such practices as inviting the people of his community to worship in the Roman parishes of Eastern Catholic Churches.

It does appear that his 'Society of the Catholic Apostolate' was suppressed by Pope Gregory. It offended some of the sensibilities of Roman society. Dr. Gaynor seems to suggest that the Jansenists were at work in this. The Decree of dissolution fell into disuse (went into limbo), when the Pope was enlightened as to the good work done by the Society. However, as soon as Vincent died in 1850 there was more trouble and presumably the original Decree of dissolition was unearthed. When Vincent's last defender Cardinal Lambruscini died in 1854, the name of the Society was abruptly changed to "The Pious Society of Missions". This lasted until 1947 when "by a gracious act of the Holy See" the original name of the society was restored.

When Pallotti's body was exhumed in 1906 and 1950, examiners found his body to be completely incorruptFact|date=February 2007 (see Dr. Gaynor's book), a sign of holiness in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. His body is enshrined in the church of San Salvatore in Onda, in Rome, where it can be seen, still intact. He was canonized in 1963.

His followers are the Pallottines, still operating internationally. They follow his motto, "The love of Christ impels us" (Caritas Christi Urget Nos). 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.

During the Christmas Season, a Nativity scene that Saint Vincent himself made is put on display at the Vatican, in the Basilica's Square, before the Christmas Tree. Vincent promoted the celebration of the Octave of the Epiphany as an act of unity with his Orthodox brethern who celebrate Christmas on Jan 6th. He is an ancestor of the now living Robert, Stephen, Alexa, and Jacob Pallotti.

See also

*Eastern Catholic Church
*St Peter's Italian Church

External links

* [ Jansenius and Jansenism] - from the Catholic Encyclopedia
* [ Venerable Vincent Mary Pallotti] - from the Catholic Encyclopedia
* [ International Directory of the Pallottines]
* [ Vincent Pallotti bio]
* [ St. Vincent Pallotti]
* [ "Apostle of the Infinite: The Life of Saint Vincent Pallotti"] (Saint Benedict Center)


The Rev. Dr. John. S. Gaynor SAC (a priest of the Society), wrote his biography, "The life of St. Vincent Pallotti" (Mercier Press, Cork, Ireland, 1962).

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