The Vincentian Family in prayer for the poor of the pandemic

Father Valerio Di Trapani tells the success of the online world prayer organized by the Vincentians to express proximity to populations impoverished by the consequences of the coronavirus.

More than 200 branches of the Vincentian Family met on Sunday 12 July on the Facebook page of the Brazilian broadcaster “OzanamTV” for an online prayer dedicated to the many needs of today’s world, with special attention for the poor. The purpose of the prayer appointment, open to Congregations, Movements, Associations, Groups, which directly or indirectly prolong the charism of St. Vincent De Paul over time, was “to ask God to send his Spirit to renew the earth wounded by the pandemics, from selfishness and racism “. Father Valerio Di Trapani, assistant to the Vincentian Volunteer Groups at the Leonian College in Rome, tells the success of the initiative to the microphones of Vatican Radio Italy.

“It went well! I also participated in this online prayer and I verified that there were more than eighteen thousand views, including live and deferred ones. This means that many brothers and sisters of the Vincentian family were able to participate in this vigil which involved all branches of our Vincentian family, or at least all those who have the ability to access Facebook. The aim was to entrust to the Lord all the needs of men and in particular those of the poorest people who have been particularly affected in this time of pandemic.

We are present in many countries around the world, including Brazil from which it broadcasts “OzanamTV”. I believe that this prayer arises precisely from our preferential choice for the least, but also perhaps from the impossibility of being present in certain particularly affected countries. Currently, the prohibitions established to stem the infection of coronaviruses prevent the superior general, all the superior generals and the international presidents from being personally present alongside the poorest people. So I think it was a gesture of closeness which then is the figure with which we Vincentians live charity: proximity. San Vincenzo de ‘Paoli always taught us to be close to our neighbor and our main feature is precisely the home visit, the ability to be close. So today, unable to be physically close because of the restrictions, we wanted to be present with prayer, testimonies and the means of social communication. Social media have practically accomplished what precisely cannot be done through a physical presence. In addition to the wounds created by the pandemic and poverty then, the other theme that motivated and inspired our prayer, linking us to what happened in the United States with the death of George Floyd, was that of the racism emergency.