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Abstract

By Vincent de Paul’s time, sermons had become complicated by stylistic devices that were intended to impress rather than instruct. Pierre de Berulle, Francis de Sales, and Vincent were responsible for reforming sermon delivery in France. Vincent’s principles for preparing and preaching sermons were encapsulated in his Little Method. The Little Method mandated structure and language that were simple to understand and delivered with sincerity. A letter from Francis de Salle shows his influence on the Little Method, and a specific conference of Vincent’s demonstrates the Little Method’s components, how it was to be used, and the results it would achieve. Members of the Congregation received extensive training in the Little Method. Because it became such an integral part of the Congregation, it also spread through the retreats, conferences, and seminaries that the Congregation directed, both in France and abroad.

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