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A Biography of St. Vincent de Paul

St.Vincent De Paul was born on March 28, 1581 at Pouy in France. He was ordained priest in 1600. In 1605 he was captured by pirates on his journey to Marseilles and spent two years in slavery in Tunis. He came back to Paris in 1608.

His encounter with God in the midst of bitter experiences of life led him to a total renewal of life. He became aware of the spiritual poverty of the people and gained a firsthand knowledge of the real poverty of the people while he served as the parish priest of Chatillon. As a result, along with St. Louise de Marillac, he founded the Daughters of Charity in 1633.

Inspired by the Gospel passage, “He has anointed me to bring the good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18), he worked tirelessly for the spiritual and material nourishment of the poor by organizing works of charity and Popular Mission retreats. Through the new seminaries, he started and through Tuesday Conferences and retreats he conducted he contributed much to the training and reformation of the clergy.

Vincent inspired the rich women of the noble class to come to the aid of the people suffering out of wars, diseases, and poverty and organized their efforts in a systematic way. He worked for the betterment of the galley slaves while serving as their chaplain.Vincent, the Apostle of the poor, was called to his eternal reward on September 27, 1660. He was canonized in 1737. In 1885 he was declared by the Church as the heavenly patron of all charitable works.