Vinnies and the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi

Essay by Luke Foster

“If God can work through me, he can work through anyone.” Saint Francis of Assisi

One of the best ways to support charity in Australia is to go op shopping. It’s a mutually beneficial deal between you and the charity 2nd hand clothes shops. All their clothes and bric-a-brac is donated and usually all the workers in the shops are volunteers so anything you buy is direct money in the bank for the op shops charities. I love mix and matching new and 2nd hand clothes. I usually buy new shoes, socks, undies and hats and get 2nd hand jeans, long sleeve collared shirts and t-shirts.

My favourite op shop in my local area is Vinnies short for St Vincent De Paul Society. They do important work to help the needy and homeless in Australia.

“Everything you buy or donate at a Vinnies shop helps support St Vincent de Paul Society’s programs to help those less fortunate and in need across Australia.” St Vincent de Paul Society website 

Perhaps the obvious link between op shops and saints would be Saint Vincent but my favourite saint is Saint Francis of Assisi. Saint Francis was so compassionate that even all the animals loved him. A favoured quote is:

”While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.” Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis was an Italian Catholic Friar born in 1181-1182 AD and started life as a wealthy man and fought for Assisi but then he had a vision that lead him to a life of poverty and became a saint. Francis returned from Rome home to Assisi and began preaching on the streets and soon amassed a following.

 “His order was euthanized by Pope Innocent 111 in 1210 AD. He then founded the Order of Poor Claire’s, which became an enclosed religious order for women as well as the order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance (commonly called the Third Order).” Wikipedia

Another favoured quote is:

It is not fitting, when one is in Gods service, to have a gloomy face or chilling look.” Francis of Assisi

Buying clothes at op shops is a great way to look funky and at the same time support important charities. This essay is not the views of Vinnies but I hope they enjoy the fact that I admire the important work they and their volunteers do.

Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy
an oil painting by Jusepe de Ribera(1642)

At my local community garden that I gave up as I am too busy wearing new shoes hat and basketball shirt and Ray Bans that I lost at my local mall but 2nd hand jeans from Vinnies for $4