In Vincent de Paul’s metaphor, persons who are poor are like badly scarred coins; they have their humanity on one side and Christ’s face on the other. We are to see God in them and that is “the basis of human dignity.” This also motivates Vincentian work in education. As Thomas McKenna writes, education “nourishes” dignity, both by teaching poor persons themselves and “by sensitizing everyone else to their dignity and worth.” McKenna emphasizes the need for Vincentian institutions to exercise transparency, or simplicity, as Vincent called it and explains transparency’s particular application to education.
McKenna, Thomas F. C.M., S.T.D.
"People of the Scarred Coin,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 22
, Article 5.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol22/iss2/5