Birth of the Society of St Vincent de Paul
In 1833 Frederic Ozanam and a group of friends from the Sorbonne University were challenged to prove their faith in Christ through action, not just words.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was formed when they took up this challenge and began to work with the desperately poor in Paris. Developing a simple system, they went in teams to help the poor in their homes, in the streets, in the hospitals and the asylums. Adopting as their patron Saint Vincent de Paul, a 16th century cleric renowned for his work with the poor, the Society arose from humble beginnings to become an international organisation found in 150 countries with 45,000 conferences and 800,000 volunteers.