Vincent had a passion for the poor and a genius for networking and organizing others to meet the full range of needs, both material and spiritual, of those who live on the margins of society. He came to find Christ present in the poor and invited others to follow Christ in service of those who suffer.
Born in the village of Pouy, France in 1581, as a boy Vincent lived among the poor and experienced the conditions under which they lived. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1600. For a time Vincent sought to escape from the poverty of his origins, but with the help of spiritual directors he felt himself called to deeper holiness and, through the events of his life, was finally led by divine providence to a firm determination to dedicate himself to the service and salvation of the poor.
He was not only the founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) but also the Daughters of Charity, the Confraternities of Charity and Ladies of Charity.
A man of deep faith and enormous creativity, he is known as the “Father of the Poor” and “Universal Patron of Charity”. His contributions to the education of priests and services for the poor shaped our church’s role in the modern world.
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