St. Vincent used to make Easter, living according to the rules of Christianity. He, too, asked his missionaries to do the same, recommending that their actions and works should always be permeated by the spirit of God


Celebrating Easter from the Vincentian Charism


For a Catholic Christian, Easter is the most eagerly awaited day of the Liturgical Year. It is the day on which Christ has conquered death and made us sharers in his immortal Life[1] . It is the feast of feasts, ancient, profound and solemn. It is the feast of the new creation. Jesus is risen and will not die again. Thus, he has assumed man into God himself, opening a new dimension for him. The whole of creation has become greater and more spacious[2] . This renewal makes Easter the point of arrival and departure for all, being at the same time the centre and the key of history.

Thus, Easter makes possible life, celebration, encounter, communication, knowledge, access to reality, truth, freedom and progress. With Easter, evil is hidden[3] and the fullness of life is restored in Christ[4] . Our lives are now definitively open to God’s world, for they have acquired a taste of eternity and a sense of rescue and the joy of salvation. In fact, Easter is the day that brings a new rhythm, a new style and commitment[5] . Therefore, Easter is the day on which we can celebrate from the Vincentian charism.

Now, how can we celebrate Easter from the Vincentian charism? In my opinion, we can celebrate it by making Easter, since, according to Tradition, “Easter” means passage. St. Augustine would say, Easter is “passage from this world that is passing away to the world of God that is passing away”. Certainly, in order to “make Easter” it is obligatory to take a step. For example, we can begin by taking a step from ignorance to knowledge of the Word of God that announces, proclaims and tells us that Easter is happening today. Such knowledge leads us to a new way of life that makes us overcome obsolete patterns and break the bonds that make it impossible for us to recover our best version of ourselves.

For St. Vincent de Paul, acquiring a new way of life means putting on the spirit of Christ. To clothe oneself with Christ means, according to him, “to strive to imitate the perfection of Jesus Christ and to strive to attain it” (XI, 410). For this reason, he always preached to his missionaries about the need to imitate Jesus Christ in his perfection, being good in every way, as our heavenly Father is good (cf. Mt 5:48). Goodness which, according to him, must materialise in the service of the poorest of the poor, namely abandoned children, prisoners, the marginalised, the elderly, the sick and immigrants.

St. Vincent used to make Easter, living according to the rules of Christianity. He, too, asked his missionaries to do the same, recommending that their actions and works should always be permeated by the spirit of God (cf. XI, 237) and that their lives should be emptied of self in order to fill them with the spirit of Christ. He asked them that everything they did should be as if it were done by Jesus, the one who spent his whole life doing divine works for the good of all (cf. XI, 236). To celebrate Easter in this sense would mean doing good for others, especially the most vulnerable. Consequently, there is no true Easter celebration without real commitment.

So, as a Vincentian, your Easter will be genuine if you are able to find time to come to the bedside of the sick, who are sweating and suffering, and to accompany the lonely or forgetful elderly person. Your Easter will be genuine if you know how to caress and clean the face marred by pain and marginalisation, and if you take care to wipe away the tears. Your Easter will be evident if, when you hear of a person or family who is having a hard time, you anonymously and quietly take care of their needs, pay some of their bills, lend them a hand in any way you can, and talk to someone to alleviate their situation, even if no one thanks you for it. Your Easter will be authentic, if you are indeed able to recognise your own faults and ask for forgiveness, and if, despite looking at the stained face of the Church, its errors and scandals, its inconsistencies and sins, you are still able to recognise in it the face of the risen Christ and adore him with joy.

You truly make Easter when you completely submit your intelligence and your will to God. That is, you assent, with your whole being, to what God reveals and to all the truth that He has revealed through the Risen One, admitting that such faith in the Risen One brings inner, outer and transcendent fruits that are of blessing and consolidation for you. Also when you admit that faith in Him enables you to make your own the principles that truly bring you inner unity, consolidation and consistency. You achieve this, moreover, when you establish what part of your life could be far from God, knowing that everything has a direction towards Him, recognising that only in Him does life find true unity and that everything ultimately comes to Him.

Through this understanding of faith you become a principled Vincentian; a Vincentian who knows why he is what he is and who knows where he stands. A Vincentian who knows that his faith has to do with his way of being, acting and living and who has a mind formed in faith. A mind on the way of ascent towards God and that speaks of God’s love, His Holiness, His Providence and His Power. A mind that understands that only faith can say great things about man. Only in this way will you faithfully perform the Passover.

This will be so if, as a Vincentian, you want to be an Easter man; a new man who encounters the light of the Risen One and wants, in turn, to be a light that encourages, uplifts and guides. A man who finds the way and wants to be a pilgrim who stays on the way, a way that encourages him to go on, strengthens his walk and protects him from detours. A man who needs nourishment: the Eucharist which “contains all the spiritual good of the Church, that is, Christ himself, our Passover”. A man who receives support in the Community and the Vincentian Family and draws encouragement from the Word of God, the Writings of St. Vincent and the Vincentian Virtues. A man who advances along the way, who grows and seeks to take the definitive step into God’s world. A man who puts joy in everything. Finally, a man who makes this day a day for God. That is to say, to participate actively in the Sunday assembly, to listen attentively to his Word, remembering his death and resurrection; to take communion and touch him like Thomas (Jn 20,29). Man who, on this day, remembers that what he has extra, someone else needs. That the time he has too much, someone perhaps not so far away is asking for it. That the money you have too much of, there is also someone who needs it. That the food you have too much of, there is a poor person who asks for it. That the clothes and sandals that you are not wearing or that you have too many of, there is someone who needs them.

Thus, celebrating Easter in the Vincentian charism requires a celebration that involves a commitment to do Easter. May St. Vincent de Paul lead you to Easter, make you live Easter and teach you to celebrate and share Easter. May you be all of God, all in God and all for God this Easter.

By Jean Rolex, C.M.

[1] Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer II.

[2] Benedict XI (2013). Homily at the Easter Vigil. Retrieved from

[3] Ibid,

[4] Roman Missal, Easter Preface IV.

[5] Montana, C.V. (1972). United in the Word. Sunday Spirituality with weekly projection. Claretiana: Buenos Aires.