St. Vincent Marie Strambi
Vincent lived in a turbulent time in the 18th century as the world was falling into various revolutions that changed the future or France, England, America and then the world.
Vincent started life as a diocesan priest. He was lucky enough to make a retreat given by the famous preacher and ‘saint’ Paul of the Cross. Vincent wanted to join Paul in his new Community, but his health was a hurdle and Paul turned him down several times. But Vincent was an independent and determined spirit and he kept trying. He had a love of people and he was a very pastoral and caring man.
Vincent was an inspiring preacher who could adapt his message to the people who listened. He gave missions in many parts of Italy. St Paul placed Vincent in charge of training the young men as future missionaries. Paul saw in Vincent the spirit of an apostle fit to speak of the love of God shown in the Passion of Jesus.
Vincent’s many talents were brought to strengthen the young Congregation at the critical period following the death of the founder and during the Napoleon’s invasion of the Papal States and his suppression or religious orders and during the restoration.
As bishop of Macerate and Tolentino in 1808 he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the First French Empire under Napoleon who had annexed Macerata as part of his empire. For his efforts Vincent spent 6 years exiled from his people and diocese.