Follow in the footsteps of St Vincent de Paul


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Who was St Vincent de Paul?

Born to a peasant family in France in 1580, Vincent de Paul spent his early life in a determined struggle to escape his humble roots. His family shared his ambition, hoping that a career in the priesthood would better the family fortune.

However, he suffered a rude awakening when he was appointed to a rural parish in Gascony, where desperately poor farming community members were dying of starvation.

Vincent began to take stock of his resources. His former connections with the wealthy and influential led him to seek their financial assistance; he organised them into groups to go from house to house requesting disposable items of furniture, food and clothing. The response was overwhelming and the project snowballed.

Join usPoor parishes all over France began to seek him out to learn from his example. The lives of thousands of people were changed for the better – not by receiving luxuries, but by being given a chance to take steps to improve their living conditions for themselves.

Vincent was transformed by the experience.

Faced with the extreme poverty of his surroundings and the spontaneous generosity of those who had never thought to share their resources with those in need, he went through a spiritual revolution.

He came to realise that assisting the poor was not only a matter of charity but also a matter of justice. Vincent became a legend in his own lifetime and was canonised as a saint in 1737.


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Frederic Ozanam

St Vincent de Paul

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Inspired by the compassion of Jesus Christ, our Mission is lived in the way we work with the poor and disadvantaged – irrespective of race, colour, creed or status.

Our aim is not only to provide immediate support, but to enable those we assist to break free from the cycle of poverty.

Our desire is to empower and enable – a hand up not a handout.




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