St. Vincent De Paul

This remarkable man, born at Pouy in Southern France in 1581, had a rather self-seeking start in the priesthood. Under the influence of spiritual directors like St. Francis de Sales, Cardinal de Berulle, and Andre Duval, he underwent a striking conversion in which he gave his life over to God in the service of the poor. He founded the Congregation of the Mission in 1625, a community of priests and brothers whose end is "to preach the good news to the poor" and the Daughters of Charity (1633), at that time a new form of community where the sisters lived in the world" to serve the sick poor spiritually and corporally. He also established the Confraternities of Charity (lay organizations, both of men and women, founded in parishes also to assist the poor spiritually and corporally) and the Ladies of Charity. These groups continue to the present day in a very large numbers.