ABOUT SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL ALPENA
“A network of friends, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world, through personal relationships with and service to people in need.”
Who We Are
Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering, in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.
As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings and adherence to a basic Rule.
Organized locally, Vincentians witness God's love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded by Frederic Ozanam on April 23, 1833. The organization was formed a few years before by Ozanam and some of his friends at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he was studying law at the time. The roots of the society go back to a series of meetings known as the Conference of History. At one of these meetings, a student questioned Ozanam on what good the Catholic Church was actively performing in the present day. Following this encounter, Ozanam founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, with the assistance of Sister Rosalie Rendu, a Sister for the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. She became a mentor for Ozanam, as well as other early members of the society, by training them in social justice and care of the sick and poor.
The society was named after St. Vincent de Paul because of his commitment to charity and the care of the poor, during the first half of the seventeenth century. He was the founder of the Confraternities of Charity and the Ladies of Charity, the order of which Sister Rendu was a member. Ozanam would contribute greatly to the first twenty years of the society with his writings on social justice, which became the modern encyclical on social justice. Ozanam died in 1853 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on August 22, 1997 in Paris. Sister Rosalie Rendu died February 7, 1856 and was also beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003.
Founder of Conference of Charity
Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam was a French literary scholar, lawyer, journalist and equal rights advocate. He founded with fellow students the Conference of Charity, later known as:
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Feast: September 9
Beatified: August 22, 1997,
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
“Love the poor. Honour them, my children, as you would honour Christ himself”
Date of birth: 24 April, 1581
Place of birth: Pouy, France
Died: 27 September, 1660
Canonised a Saint: 16 June, 1737
Feast Day: 27 September
Vincent de Paul was born in the small southern French town of Pouy, (later renamed Saint Vincent de Paul in his honour on 24 April 1581) and ordained as a priest in 1600, at the age of 19.
As a young man, he ministered to the wealthy and powerful. However an appointment as chaplain to a poor parish, and to galley prisoners, inspired him to a vocation of working with those most marginalized and powerless.
Vincent urged his followers to bring God’s justice and love to people, who were unable to live a full human life:
“Deal with the most urgent needs. Organize charity so that it is more efficient…teach reading and writing, educate with the aim of giving each the means of self-support. Intervene with authorities to obtain reforms in structure… there is no charity without justice.”
Vincent de Paul died in Paris on 27 September ,1660 at the age of 79. He was canonized on 16 June, 1737 and, in 1883, the Church designated him as the special patron of all charitable associations.
The Society was named after Saint Vincent de Paul and follows his teachings and compassion for people in need. Saint Vincent de Paul is the international patron of the Society.
February 7 is the feast day of Blessed Rosalie Rendu, D.C., whose humble “example and message continue to reverberate in the minds and hearts of those who are seeking to relieve the plight of those who are poor and abandoned” today.