Nourish your body and soul with these French potato cakes from the Cooking with the Saints Cookbook in celebration of St. Vincent de Paul on his feast day, September 27.
Maui Ruiz and Mary Lopez, Vincentian Volunteers from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Los Angeles, prepared these French potato cakes in honor of St. Vincent de Paul in the same kitchen they use to feed the poor every day. “I want our meals to remind [the hungry] that they are with family,” said Maui as she packed a to-go meal for their free lunch program. On other days, meals are served restaurant-style, creating an opportunity for volunteers to sit down and break bread with those being served.
These meals, as well as the other works of mercy provided by the Vincentians, are Eucharistic. Like the Eucharist, charity is offered and received. It unites all people who partake in its nourishment and reminds us that Christ is within us all regardless of religion, age, skin color, or financial wealth. So is the mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul: to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to any individual in need. It’s been 359 years since St. Vincent de Paul’s passing, yet his mission for charity and compassion continue strong through the work of the Vincentians.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide Catholic organization of men and women who strengthen their faith and fellowship by serving others. Nourished by the Gospel, members of the Society, who are known as Vincentians, offer all works of charity and justice from financial assistance to spiritual fellowship. These Vincentians organize locally, honing their focus on the community’s greatest need as well as building relationships centered on Christ with those seeking help.
St. Vincent de Paul, also known as the Apostle of Charity was born in Gascony, France in 1581 and devoted his life to helping the poor through corporal and spiritual works of mercy, earning him the title as the patron saint of charitable societies. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one of those societies, is present today and works to continue his heroic goodness to the poor. The Society’s Vincentian Volunteers run homeless shelters, food pantries, free furniture and clothing distributions, financial assistance programs, health clinics and more in pursuit of ending poverty through systemic change. For more information about the compassionate works of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul visit www.svdpusa.org.