Saint Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul was born to a poor family in a French village called Pouy on April 24, 1581. Franciscan-educated, Vincent attended the University of Toulose where he studied theology. Ordained in 1600, Vincent went to Avignon and Rome to continue his studies.
In Rome, he became a chaplain to the count of Goigny and was placed in charge of donating money to the poor. This assignment inspired him to donate money and even establish hospitals for the poor. Later, he extended his ministry to work for convicts as well.
Vincent de Paul was known for this work and he even founded the Ladies of Charity, a lay institute of women to help as well as the Congregation of the Priests of the Mission now known as the Vincentians.
During his life, Vincent de Paul worked to reform the education and spiritual life of aspiring priests. He led retreats and developed a model that inspired modern-day seminaries.
Today, there are 4,000 Vincentians in 86 countries. St. Vincent also co-founded the Daughters of Charity with St. Louise de Marillac. Today, there are 18,000 Daughters of Charity serving the poor in 94 countries.
St. Vincent died on September 27, 1660.
St. Vincent was attributed to two miracles. One was a nun cured of ulcers and another was a woman cured of paralysis.
In 1737, Pope Clement XIII canonized Vincent. St. Vincent is the patron saint of all charitable societies and his feast day is September 27.