- Early Life
- Work with the Poor
- Related Saints
- Related Prayers
- Birth: April 24, 1581
- Location: Landes, France
- Death: September 27, 1660
- Beatification: August 21st, 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII
- Canonized: June 16th, 1737 by Pope Clement XII
- Feast Day: September 27th
- Patron Saint of: All works of charity
Born in Puy-en-Velay, France in 1581, St. Vincent de Paul was the son of a merchant and a farmer. He had a difficult childhood because his father died when he was young.
Despite his difficult childhood, St. Vincent de Paul was a bright and gifted student. He was accepted to the Jesuit school in Puy-en-Velay, where he became a stellar student. After graduating, Vincent de Paul went on to study law; however, he felt called to the priesthood.
St. Vincent de Paul’s Work with the Poor
St. Vincent de Paul was ordained a priest in 1600 and assigned to a small parish in the town of Clichy. He was astonished by the poverty he saw in Clichy, and it ignited his passion to help the poor and marginalized.
One of his first priestly assignments was serving as a chaplain to the enslaved people in the Parisian galleys. This experience inspired him to form the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians, to be dedicated to serving the poor.
St. Vincent de Paul became a spiritual father to St. Louise de Marillac and helped her found the Daughters of Charity, a group of women who established hospitals and also served the poor. Vincent additionally led retreats and preached with urgency, determined to overcome the spiritual laxity in the clergy and the laity.
After his death in 1660, his virtue of charity became an inspiration for many Catholic charity organizations. St. Vincent de Paul’s work to help the poor and marginalized was groundbreaking at the time.
Vincent de Paul’s work continues to inspire people around the world, and he is considered the “father of modern charity.” His work has had a lasting impact on the world, and it continues to inspire Catholics everywhere to make the world a better place.
St. Vincent de Paul Prayers
St. Vincent de Paul inspires us to be charitable individuals in service of others, especially the poor and marginalized. Here are some prayers to say to increase the virtues of charity in your life:
“Lord, teach us to be generous;
To give without counting the cost;
To return good for evil;
To serve without expecting some reward;
To draw closer to those whom we find repulsive;
To do good to those who cannot reciprocate;
To love generously;
To work without being concerned about rest;
To be solely concerned about giving;
To give our whole self;
To give to those who need us,
Hoping to receive only You, Lord, as our reward.
“O God you are a God of justice, mercy, and compassion.
Support us, your servants of the poor, as we endeavor to
bring your love and compassion to people who are homeless
and in need of your love. We pray that we will see you, our
all-loving God in each homeless person we encounter and in
our service for those in need. May we do all in our power to
support each person reach their potential, so they experience
the fullness of life.
We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
“Open my eyes that I may see the deepest needs of men, women and children
Move my hands that they may feed the hungry;
Touch my heart that it may bring warmth to the despairing;
Teach me the generosity that welcomes strangers;
Let me share my possessions with people in need;
Give me the care that strengthens the sick;
Help me share in the quest to set prisoners free;
In sharing our anxieties and our love,
Our poverty and our prosperity;
We partake of your divine presence. Amen.”
St. Vincent de Paul Quotes
- “The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it.”
- “Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances.”
- “We must have a high regard for the promises we make to God and, ever more, for carrying them out.”
- Saint Vincent de Paul Parish – Peoria, Ill.
- DePaul University – Chicago, Ill.
- St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church – Omaha, Neb.
- St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church – Bayonne, N.J.