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Amid the political, social, religious and economic turmoil of early 19th century France, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul originates. As a young student at the Sorbonne, Antoine Frédéric Ozanam is appalled by the conditions he sees in Paris. Adopting St. Vincent de Paul as their patron, Frederic and his fellow students begin taking food and clothing to those in need. Similar groups spread throughout the Christian world with the purpose of visiting those in need as an extension of God’s love. Currently, SVdP has about 900,000 members in 151 countries.