St. Vincent de Paul Icon
Icon honors life, mission, and legacy of St. Vincent de Paul
The icon of St. Vincent de Paul, by iconographer Joseph Malham, honors our patron saint who manifested the Gospel exhortation to feed the poor, clothe the naked, comfort the dying, visit the prisoner and care for the sick, forgotten and the marginalized of society.
Vincent, shown in the plain black cassock, collar, and skull cap worn by Parisian priests of the 17th century, holds a baby in his left hand and blesses the viewer with his right. The baby not only symbolizes the orphaned, poor and foundling children Vincent and his priests and nuns were dedicated to protecting but also symbolizes Christ; the tiny and vulnerable infant who came into the world in poverty and, although God, needed human hands to protect and nurture him. His right hand, held aloft with an unusual gesture of blessing, forms the letters IC XC, the Greek initials for JESUS CHRIST.
Even though Vincent is the subject and focus of the icon, like all holy men and women from Christian history, they point away from themselves back to Christ.
At Vincent's feet are two symbols. On the left is a basket of bread and grapes, symbolizing his primary mission of feeding the poor and the hungry. It also is the symbol of the Eucharist, the bread and wine that through the words of the priest, is transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. That blood, poured out for our salvation, is symbolized by the jug of wine on the right. In his total identification with Jesus and the Suffering Servant, Vincent and his followers to this day, poured himself out in the service of all those in need for their physical and spiritual salvation.
The icon, commissioned by the St. Mary of the Lake Conference in Chicago, hangs in St. Mary of the Lake Church.
For a limited time only, SVdP Chicago is pleased to offer reproductions of the icon for sale to the general public. Each icon comes in a acid-free 16" x 20" matte signed and numbered by the artist, Joseph Malham.
We are grateful to Mr. Malham for generously donating a portion of the proceeds from each sale to SVdP Chicago. It is inspiring to partner with talented local artists in the spirit of coming together as a community and in service to the poor and needy!