Vincent de Paul’s texts contain over 650 direct or indirect references to more than 100 animals. These include domesticated animals—especially horses, sheep, cattle, and swine—as well as wild animals: birds, invertebrates, aquatic animals, wolves, and even mythical creatures. Sometimes the references are within the context of animals’ role in the lives of the Congregation, the Daughters, or the poor. More often, animals are used either positively or negatively to explain correct behavior in community life, proper spiritual aspirations, or the ideal (obedient) relationship of humanity to God. Often taken from his own observations, Vincent’s animal citations demonstrate his awareness of and respect for the natural world. In the past and today, they also draw in his audiences and make them more attentive to the lessons he imparts.
Rybolt, John E.
"Vincent de Paul’s World of Animals,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 34
, Article 2.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol34/iss2/2