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.

The people behind the SSVP

St Vincent de Paul

Ordained as a priest at age 19, St Vincent de Paul worked as chaplain to poor parish and to prisoners, seeing their physical and spiritual poverty and realised a connection between the two.

1617- Formed the Ladies of Charity(now known as AIC)

1625-Formed the Congregation of the Mission

1633- Founded the Daughters of Charity

  • Born 24 April 1581
  • Died 27 September 1660
  • Canonised 16 June 1737
  • Feast Day 27 September

St Louise de Marillac

Dedicated to helping abandoned children on the streets; Louise de Marillac also visited sick men in prison hospitals. She established a house nearby where women could cook meals for the prisoners. She assisted Vincent de Paul in forming the Daughters of Charity in 1642, helping abandoned children, people who were poor and sick, wounded soldiers, slaves, people with mental illness, and the elderly.

  • Born 12 August 1591
  • Died: 15 March 1660
  • Beatified: 11 March 1934
  • Feast Day: 15 March

Blessed Frederic OzanamFrederic Ozanam

From a Catholic family that ministered to the poor, Frederic defended workers’ rights and advocated for the poor. He envisioned a society and political structure founded on Christian principles.

At age 20, Blessed Frederic established the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris, France.

  • Born 23 April 23 1813
  • Died 8 September 1853
  • Beatified 22 August 1997
  • Feast Day 9 September

Blessed Roslie Rendu

Rosalie was  17 years old when she joined the Daughters of Charity. She opened a free clinic, a pharmacy, a school, an orphanage, a childcare centre, a home for the elderly, and a youth club for young workers.
She also assisted wounded soldiers during the French Rebellion, regardless of what side they were fighting on.

  • Born 9 September 1786
  • Died: 7 February 1856
  • Beatified: 9 November 2003
  • Feast Day: 7 February