Vincentian Bibliography

Luigi Mezzadri, C.M.

Giubilei e Anni Santi. Storia, significato et devozioni

Published by Edizioni San Paolo, Turin, Italy, 1999 (293 pages)

This collaborative work, edited by Luigi Mezzadri, is the first complete, concise history in a scientific style on the 24 jubilees of the Church, from 1300 to 1975. For each jubilee there is an indication of how it came to be, which pope proclaimed it, how and when it was celebrated, how many faithful participated, what were the most important facts and personalities who characterized it. Moreover, there is a description of the most significant rites and ceremonies, the usages which characterized each year, the devotions required of the pilgrims in order to gain the indulgence, and the principal holy places. The authors make use of numerous citations taken from contemporary sources. Each jubilee is inserted in an organic manner into the broader context of Church history, and the account, subdivided into seven chapters (one for each century), is developed in chronological order. Thus, the progressive transition from the medieval wait for a collective conversion to the commitment to personal salvation is grasped. In reading these pages one can gather the social and cultural dimension of the event which, throughout the centuries, knew how to conserve intact its fascination and has acquired ever real significance.

Luigi Mezzadri, C.M.

Storia della Carità

Published by Editoriale Jaca Book, Milan, Italy, 1999 (104 pages)

This work intends to recount the “History of the Church” in a new way. Traditional volumes speak little of the poor or speak only of certain ones (St. Francis). The great mass of the poor is ignored. They are the majority, but it is as if they did not exist. They are the “voiceless,” because they have no importance. For this reason, they leave no trace in history and yet they have a right to history. The manuals say something more about charity.

This volume attempts to bring out the relationship poor-Church and to study this important aspect of the life of the Church; that is, the perennial reference to the poor and to make itself the Church of the poor. This it the theme of charity. The relationship Church-poor cannot be reduced to that of who gives alms and who receives them. The importance is not giving but rather sharing from the heart, for charity is richer when it is more gratuitous. It was not always so; on the contrary, this aim of charity has always been a challenge for Christianity. Writing a history of charity is writing a history of this challenge.

In six dense chapters, the author traces the characteristics that ecclesial charity has had in the course of the centuries and tries to read Church history in the light of how much was done for the poor, collecting the outstanding moments in an account that is well-developed, clear and rich throughout the story.

Jack Melito, C.M.

Saint Vincent de Paul. Windows on his vision.

Published in the United States, 1998 (170 pages)

The book collects a series of articles on St. Vincent, his life and his spirituality, which the author began writing ten years ago and which appeared in the Provincial Newsletter of the Midwest (USA). They were not composed in any logical sequence, but sprung forth as the moment inspired. They are now presented in book form and, for that reason, have been classified in four thematic sections: characteristics of the life and personality of St. Vincent; his relationships with his contemporaries and friends; occasional pieces; and Vincentian elaborations on our missionary virtues.

Each article gathers and recomposes related passages which, however, were pronounced in different situations. In this way, St. Vincent might ask himself on more than one occasion: “Did I say that?” It is an attempt to draw from Vincentian “writings” some of the saint's principal themes and intuitions. The book is intended for anyone who wants to know the Vincentian vision of life, those doing works inspired by his spirit, and members of the Vincentian Family.

Erminio Antonello, C.M.

Una mistica della Carità. Suor Giuseppina Nicoli

Percorso Biografico-Spirituale

Published by C.L.V. Edizioni Vincenziane, Rome, Italy, 1999 (326 pages)

Seventy-five years after the death of the Servant of God, Sr. Giuseppina Nicoli, D.C. (1863-1924) the author traces the spiritual and biographical path which flows from the testimonies of those who lived with her and knew her, and especially from the 1473 letters written by Sr. Nicoli to superiors, acquaintances, and her sisters in community, simply allowing her to speak in her own words. In this way, the reader discovers the spiritual richness of a soul who lived the mystic of charity which drew its lifeblood from prayer of which she said: “As air is necessary to lungs, so is meditation necessary to our spirit.”

Standing out at the same time, especially in the last 24 years of her life spent in Sardinia, is the figure of a “mature, motherly woman opened to charity, with two significant preferences: orphans and adolescents left to themselves.”

Her life thus makes us understand the Vincentian mystic that is fulfilled in the complete gift to God in giving oneself to the poor. We hope that her holiness will be recognized officially by the Church.

Jean Guitton

Dialoghi con Monsieur Pouget

Published by Bompiani, Milan, Italy, 1999 (219 pages)

This is an Italian translation of the work, Dialogues avec Monsieur Pouget, published in French in 1954. The renowned author presents Fr. Pouget to us in the freshness of his dialogues, while treating the great problems of humanity and our faith: evil, the end of the world, the death of our species, the variety of worlds, the message of Christ. The book, although written a number of years ago, is appealing and agreeable reading when the philosophical discussion is united to the memory of the past and the theological discourse is mixed with pleasant anecdotes.


Avivar la caridad, 2

Published by CEME, Apartado 353, Salamanca, Spain, 1998 (296 pages)

This is the second volume of the collection “Familia Vicenciana.” It collects the conferences and reports of a Vincentian Family meeting (Salamanca, 1997). The conferences touch on various themes referring to Vincentian laity (its place in the Church, its spirituality) and throw light on the service of animation that the Vincentians and Daughters of Charity can give them. In addition, two titles are included: “The Laity and Monsieur Vincent” and “The Vincentian Family: A Global Vision.” The reports, for their part, present aspects of spiritual and formative animation, government and finances, collaboration and service, and the presence of the Vincentian Family in various institutions.

José Luis Cortázar, C.M.

Manual del Voluntariado Vicenciano

Published by Gráficas Don Bosco, Madrid, Spain, 1999 (175 pages)

This is a “Manual” intended principally for the members of the AIC. It will also be useful for their advisors, the Vincentian Fathers and the Daughters of Charity who work with them. It consists of a doctrinal part (the first six chapters) and a second practical part (the remaining 12 chapters). The first part presents the themes of charity, social action, the origin and current affairs of the Association, the charity organized according to St. Vincent, and the Vincentian Family. The second part, taking into account previous manuals, includes various councils, prayers, and formulas: Lauds and Vespers in honor of St. Vincent and St. Louise, rite for the imposition of the crucifix, formulas for the renovation of commitments, prayers appropriate for the volunteers, a Vincentian creed, etc. Finally, it offers an organized outline of the Association in Spain and indicates a basic bibliography. The “Manual” has been published in a small and manageable format so that each volunteer can read it and use it at home or at meetings.

Augustín Slaninka, C.M. and Stella Danková, DC

Budete mi svedkami

Published by Oto Németh, Bratislava, Slovakia, 1999 (247 pages)

The book, Budete mi svedkami — You will be my witnesses —, is dedicated to the confreres of the Slovak Vice-Province — in particular to the Vice-Visitor and Director of the Daughters of Charity, Fr. Jan Hutyra — who were persecuted, tried, tortured, imprisoned for several years, compelled to forced labor, etc. during the Communist regime. Some of them are still alive; others are already dead.

Written in Slovak by the present Visitor and a Daughter of Charity, the book has the character of a testimony based on the reports of the confreres themselves, “witnesses to the truth and to the love of Christ” and on the remembrances of persons who knew them, as well as some archival documents, principally, the minutes of the trials.

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