The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 20-year-old student of Sorbonne University in Paris, Frederic and a group of fellow students began to seek out and visit the poor of Paris in their homes – taking them food and clothing and offering their friendship and concern. This small group adopted, as their Patron, the great French priest St. Vincent de Paul, who alerted the world to social problems.
Similar groups grew in Paris, then to the rest of France, and eventually spread throughout the Christian world with the purpose of visiting those in need as an extension of God’s love. Currently the Society of SVdP has approximately 900,000 members in 151 different countries.
Frederic Ozanam was was declared Blessed in Paris, France, on August 22, 1997, by Pope John Paul II.
In the tradition of both its founder and patron, and as a reflection of the whole family of God, our members (known as Vincentians) are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, and nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings, and adherence to The Rule.
Organized locally, Vincentians witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and social justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served, because in them Vincentians see the face of Christ.
Interested in becoming a Vincentian? Join us for an Ozanam Orientation Training to learn more.