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Icon of Charity: With Light in the Eyes • A Video from Fr. Tomaz Mavrič, CM

Icon of Charity is the third video of the new “400th anniversary year series,” with the participation of Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM and inspired by Fr. Luigi Mezzadri.

Icon of Charity: With light in the eyes. The third video of the current series of reflections presents the triptych with the icon of St. Vincent dePaul written by Polish iconographer Mariola Bicho-Zajączkowska and inspired by Fr. Luigi Mezzadri, CM on the occasion of 400th anniversary of Vincentian Charism. Both of them tell us shortly why they icon was made and what is the meaning of the image.

Writing the icon of St. Vincent was a challenge and a difficult task. Because … I really wanted to include in three pictures the whole mission, charism and sanctity of St. Vincent. … He was love with a capital L. Such love, which can only be a gift of God. … I wanted that this love peered from his face, from his eyes, that anyone who would pray before this icon, who would look at it, felt a special bond with St. Vincent; he felt that he was looking at him with love. – Mariola Bicho-Zajączkowska

We hoped for a glorious individual, an individual standing before God, a man filled with love who communicated a profound joy and startled the existence that tells us it was worth it, it was worth the sacrifice, it was worth doing the Folleville discourse, | it was worth to make the walk to Châtillon, it was worth it… This portrait should go all over the world, because it is a portrait that conveys a great energy, which gives the sense of charism that has not finished being born…. – Luigi Mezzadri CM

Transcription/Translation of the Video:

Luigi Mezzadri, C.M.:

When Vincent had matured in years, those in responsible positions in the Congregation of the Mission felt a need for a portrait of its founder. They commissioned Simon François to undertake that artistic work. Vincent, however, was hesitant to accede to that request which to him, appeared to be a manifestation of vanity. Then they brought this painter who secretly made several sessions to get to know and portrait the saint.

Mariola Bicho-Zajączkowska:

Writing the icon of St. Vincent was a challenge and a difficult task. Because there was little time; because I really wanted to include in three pictures the whole mission, charism and sanctity of St. Vincent. It is never easy. But I knew one thing. St. Vincent was love with a capital L.

Such love, which can only be a gift of God. And this love does not end with the death of the saint or with his canonization. It must go on. And it continues in his works. But I wanted that this love peered from his face, from his eyes, that anyone who would pray before this icon, who would look at it, |would feel a special bond with St. Vincent; he would feel that he was looking at him with love.

Luigi Mezzadri, C.M.:

In the tradition of Vincentian iconography, we look at a man in his eighties, old, receding hairline, who had lived life on an intensively and was about to return home to his God. That is not what we asked for, that is not what we wanted. We had hoped for a glorious individual, an individual standing before God, a man filled with love who communicated a profound joy and startle the existence that tells us it was worth it, it was worth the sacrifice, it was worth doing the Foleville discourse, it was worth to make the walk to Châtillon, it was worth the effort of moving, begging for peace; it was worth the effort to assist all the poor; it was worth it. This is what I believe is priceless. This portrait should go all over the world, because it is a portrait that conveys a great charge, which gives every latitude the sense of a charism that has not finished being born…

Video links in other languages:

Questions for dialogue:

After watching this video together, let us discuss with these suggestions:

  1. What feelings do I have when looking at the icon of Saint Vincent?
  2. What qualities do I value most in Saint Vincent de Paul?
  3. How can I bring these qualities to my life?
  4. What do I ask of God today, before this icon of Saint Vincent?

Four New Videos on the Occasion of the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism

Many activities have taken place during the Jubilee Year.  All are aware of the videos developed by Father Luigi Mezzadri, CM and directed by Piotr Dziubak, a Polish filmmaker who has important films and documentaries to his credit … some titles: “De Gasperi-mio padre”; “Santo subito. Alle peripherie del mondo with Giovanni Paolo II “; “Liszt”; “Das Fenster zur Welt – 50 Jahre Zweites Vatikanisches Konzil”). The videos developed by Father Mezzadri involve the participation of Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, superior general.

As you will recall, the first series of videos included titles such as, “The path toward the poor,” “Wrapped in Vincent’s cloak,” and “The sandals of charity” … these videos focus on some objects that belonged to Saint Vincent and that have been preserved in the city of Turin (Italy).  These new videos focus on some of the themes connected to the celebration of the 400th anniversary of our charism: “the globalization of charity,” “your calling,” “toward the peripheries,” “go to Folleville,” “my Folleville,” “return to the spirit.”  All of these videos are intended to make us feel closer to the superior general, but above all, closer to the charism.  These videos have been produced and have subtitles in eleven different languages.

After some months, we now present this second series of videos which correspond to the second pivotal event in Vincent’s life and that are, therefore, related to the element of charity.  The first video “Châtillon today” takes place in “the community in dialogue” in Italy and is directed by Father Matteo Tagliaferri, CM.  The second video, “the Miraculous Medal,” recalls the manner in which the Blessed Mother bestowed this gift upon the Vincentian Family.  The third video, entitled, “the icon of the charism” is a spiritual reflection on the icon of charity, a gift that Father Luigi Mezzadri presented to the General Curia on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the charism.  The last video, “the children, our teachers” is intended to commemorate the ministry of so many Daughters of Charity who can be found in hospitals throughout the world, for example, the Hospital Bambino Gesù in Rome.

These videos will be published on the web pages of the Congregation of the Mission and the Vincentian Family and through the various social networks. We hope that you will take the time to view these various productions.

Video courtesy of CMGlobal YouTube channel, made from an idea of Fr. Luigi Mezzadri, CM, and directed by Piotr Dziubak.

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