Friday, January 22, 2010

St. Vincent Pallotti (April 21, 1795 to Jan. 22, 1850)

One day while I was sitting in my grandmother's kitchen, my Uncle Vinnie asked me if I remembered my grandfather.
"Of course I do," I answered. "He died last year."
Uncle Vinnie told me he was 7-years-old when his grandfather died in 1944 and although that was 37 years earlier, it was like he saw him yesterday.
"When someone you love dies, you never forget them no matter how many years go by," he said.
A few nights later, I had a dream that my deceased grandfather called me on the telephone and in a cheerful voice told me that Uncle Vinnie was going to be with him soon.
I woke up and ran into the living room to tell my mother what happened.
"I had a dream about grandpa and he told me Uncle Vinnie was going to die," I said, tears streaming down my cheeks.
"Go back to bed," my mother said. "You're overtired and probably have a cold."
That week, my Uncle Vinnie died unexpectedly from a heart attack. He was 44-years-old and left a wife and five children.
That was many years ago when I was 16. Still, I remember him like it was only yesterday when we had our last conversation in my grandmother's kitchen. I recall his words to me "when someone you love dies, you never forget them."
Our family could easily have fallen apart when my uncle died but in the words of another Vincent, "the love of Christ impels us."
St. Vincent Pallotti was born in Rome, Italy on April 21, 1795. He became a priest at age 16 and is best known as the founder of the Pious Society of Missions or the Pallottines.
If you visit St. Peter's Basilica Square at the Vatican during Christmas, you can see a nativity display made by St. Vincent Pallotti.
He was taken ill after giving his coat to a homeless person on a cold, rainy night and died on Jan. 22, 1850. He is buried at the Church of San Salvatore in Onda in Rome. Canonized: 1963.
St. Vincent Pallotti's feast day is Jan. 22.

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