Saint Vincent de Paul

(1581—1660) French priest

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founder of the Lazarists and of the ‘Sisters of Charity’. Captured by pirates, he spent two years as a slave in Tunisia. From 1613 to 1626 he was attached to the household of the Count de Gondi, General of the galleys; as chaplain of the galleys from 1619 he did much to relieve the lot of the prisoners. In 1625 he founded the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists, q.v.). In 1633, with St Louise de Marillac, he founded the ‘Sisters of Charity’, the first congregation of women who were not enclosed and took no final vows; they were devoted to the care of the sick and poor. Feast day, 27 Sept. (formerly 19 July).

The ‘Society of St Vincent de Paul’, founded in 1833, is a lay association for the service of the poor.

Subjects: Christianity.

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