Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Charity, Psalms 90,Luke 9:7-9, St Vincent de Paul, Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Society of St Vincent de Paul

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 

Charity, Psalms 90, Luke 9:7-9, Feast of St Vincent de Paul, Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Society of St Vincent de Paul

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  charity  char·i·ty  [char-i-tee]

Origin:  1125–75; Middle English charite  < Old French  < Latin cāritāt-  (stem of cāritās ), equivalent to cār ( us ) dear

noun, plural char·i·ties.
1. generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one's life to charity.
2. something given to a person or persons in need; alms: She asked for work, not charity.
3. a charitable act or work.
4. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution: He left his estate to a charity.
5. benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor: She looked so poor that we fed her out of charity.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 90:3-6, 12-14, 17

3 You bring human beings to the dust, by saying, 'Return, children of Adam.'
4 A thousand years are to you like a yesterday which has passed, like a watch of the night.
5 You flood them with sleep -- in the morning they will be like growing grass:
6 in the morning it is blossoming and growing, by evening it is withered and dry.
12 Teach us to count up the days that are ours, and we shall come to the heart of wisdom.
13 Come back, Yahweh! How long must we wait? Take pity on your servants.
14 Each morning fill us with your faithful love, we shall sing and be happy all our days;
17 May the sweetness of the Lord be upon us, to confirm the work we have done!


Today's Gospel Reading - Luke 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was going on; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see him.

• Today’s Gospel presents a reaction from Herod listening to the preaching of Jesus. Herod does not know how to place himself before Jesus He had killed John the Baptist and now he wants to see Jesus close to him. It is always threatening.

• Luke 9, 7-8: Who is Jesus? The text begins with the exposition of the opinion of the people and of Herod on Jesus. Some associated Jesus to John the Baptist and to Elijah. Others identified him with a Prophet, that is, with a person who speaks in the name of God, who has the courage to denounce injustices of those in power and who knows how to give hope to the little ones. He is the Prophet announced in the Old Testament like a new Moses (Dt 18, 15). These are the same opinions that Jesus received from the disciples when he asked them: “Who do people say I am?” (Lk 9, 18). Persons tried to understand Jesus starting from things that they knew, thought and expected. They tried to set him against the background of the familiar criteria of the Old Testament with its prophecies and hopes, and of the Tradition of the Ancients with their laws. But these were insufficient criteria; Jesus could not enter into them, he was much bigger!

• Luke 9, 9: Herod wants to see Jesus. But Herod said: “John, I beheaded him; so who is this of whom I hear such things?” “And he was anxious to see him”. Herod, a superstitious man without scruples, recognizes that he was the murderer of John the Baptist. Now, he wants to see Jesus. Luke suggests thus that the threats begin to appear on the horizon of the preaching of Jesus. Herod had no fear to kill John. He will not be afraid to kill Jesus. On the other side, Jesus does no fear Herod. When they tell him that Herod wanted to take him to kill him, he sent someone to tell him: “You may go and give that fox this message: Look, today and tomorrow I drive out devils and heal, and on the third day I attain my end.” (Lk 13, 32). Herod has no power over Jesus. When at the hour of the passion, Pilate sends Jesus to be judged by Herod, Jesus does not respond anything (Lk 23, 9). Herod does not deserve a response.

• From father to son. Some times the three Herods, who lived during that time are confused, then the three appear in the New Testament with the same name: a) Herod, called the Great, governed over the whole of Palestine from 37 before Christ. He appears at the birth of Jesus (Mt 2, 1). He kills the new-born babies of Bethlehem (Mt 2, 16). b) Herod, called Antipas, governed in Galilee from the year 4 to 39 after Christ. He appears at the death of Jesus (Lk 23, 7). He killed John the Baptist (Mk 6, 14-29). c) Herod, called Agrippa, governed all over Palestine from the year 41 to 44 after Christ. He appears in the Acts of the Apostles (Ac 12, 1.20). He killed the Apostle James (Ac 12, 2).

When Jesus was about four years old, King Herod, the one who killed the new-born babies of Bethlehem died (Mt 2, 16). His territory was divided among his sons, Archelaus, would govern Judea. He was less intelligent than his father, but more violent. When he assumed the power, approximately 3000 persons were massacred on the square of the Temple! The Gospel of Matthew says that Mary and Joseph, when they learnt that Archelaus had taken over the government of Galilee, were afraid and returned on the road and went to Nazareth, in Galilee, which was governed by another son of Herod, called Herod Antipas (Lk 3, 1). This Antipas governed over 40 years. During the thirty-three years of Jesus there was no change of government in Galilee.

Herod, the Great, the father of Herod Antipas, had constructed the city of Caesarea Maritime, inaugurated in the year 15 before Christ. It was the new port to get out the products of the region. They had to compete with the large port of Tyron in the North and, thus, help to develop trade and business in Samaria and in Galilee. Because of this, from the time of Herod the Great, the agricultural production in Galilee began to orientate itself no longer according to the needs of the families, as before, but according to the demands of the market. This process of change in the economy continued during all the time of the government of Herod Antipas, another forty years, and found in him an efficient organizer. All these governors were ‘servants of power’. In fact, the one who commanded in Palestine, from the year 63 before Christ, was Rome, the Empire.

Personal questions
• It is well always to ask ourselves: Who is Jesus for me?
• Herod wants to see Jesus. His was a superstitious and morbid curiosity. Others want to see Jesus because they seek a sense for their life. And I, what motivation do I have which moves me to see and encounter Jesus?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St. Vincent de Paul

Feast Day: September 27
Patron Saint:

charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; Madagascar; prisoners; Richmond, Virginia; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory; Vincentian Service Corps; volunteers

Vincent de Paul (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660) was a priest of the Catholic Church who dedicated himself to serving the poor. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He was canonized in 1737.


St. Vincent was born in Pouy, Landes, Gascony, France, to a family of peasant farmers. He had four brothers and two sisters. He studied humanities in Dax, France, with the Cordeliers and he graduated in theology at Toulouse. He was ordained in 1600, remaining in Toulouse until he went to Marseille for an inheritance. In 1605, on his way back from Marseille, he was taken captive by Turkish pirates, who brought him to Tunis and sold him into slavery. After converting his owner to Christianity, Vincent de Paul escaped in 1607. After returning to France, de Paul went to Rome. There he continued his studies until 1609, when he was sent back to France on a mission to Henry IV of France; he served as chaplain to Marguerite de Valois. For a while he was parish priest at Clichy, but from 1612 he began to serve the Gondi, an illustrious family. He was confessor and spiritual director to Madame de Gondi, and he began giving preaching missions to the peasants on the estate with her aid.

In 1622 de Paul was appointed chaplain to the galleys, and in this capacity he gave missions for the galley-slaves. In 1625 de Paul founded the Congregation of the Mission, a society of missionary priests commonly known as the Vincentians or Lazarists. In 1633, with the assistance of Louise de Marillac he founded the Daughters of Charity.[1] He also fought against the Jansenist heresy. De Paul was renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity.[1] For this reason he is known as the "Great Apostle of Charity".


In 1705, the Superior-General of the Lazarists requested that the holy process of de Paul's canonization be instituted. On 13 August 1729, Vincent was declared blessed by Pope Benedict XIII. He was canonized nearly eight years later by Pope Clement XII on 16 June 1737. In 1885, Pope Leo XIII gave him as patron to the Sisters of Charity.[3] He is also patron to the Brothers of Charity.

St. Vincent's body was exhumed in 1712, 53 years after his death. The written account of an eye witness states that "...(t)he eyes and nose alone showed some decay." However, when the body was exhumed again during the canonization in 1737 it was then discovered to have decomposed due to an underground flood. His bones have been encased in a waxen figure which is displayed in a glass reliquary in the chapel of the headquarters of the Vincentian fathers in Paris. His heart is still incorrupt, and is displayed in a reliquary in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris.[4]

In 1737, his feast day was included in the Roman Calendar on 19 July, because his day of death was already used for the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian. It was originally to be celebrated with the rank of "Double", which was changed to the equivalent rank of "Third-Class Feast" in 1960.[5]

St. Vincent is honored with a feast day in the Church of England and the Episcopal Church (USA) on September 27. One of the feasts celebrated by the French Deist Church of the Theophilanthropy was dedicated to Vincent de Paul. Pope Paul VI transferred the celebration of his memorial to September 27, Cosmas and Damian having been moved to September 26 to make way for him, as he is now better known in the West.[6]

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, a charitable organisation dedicated to the service of the poor, was established by French university students in 1833, led by the Blessed Frederic Ozanam. The Society is today present in 132 countries.[7]

DePaul University takes its name from Vincent de Paul.

Vincent de Paul in literature & fiction

Pierre Fresnay portrays Vincent de Paul in the 1947 biographical film, Monsieur Vincent.


  1. ^ a b c Attwater, Donald, The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, Aylesbury, 1982 p 337.
  2. ^ a b Michael Walsh, ed. "Butler's Lives of the Saints" (HarperCollins Publishers: New York, 1991) p 304.
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ The Incorruptibles, Joan Carroll Cruz, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1977, pp. 248–9.
  5. ^ General Roman Calendar of 1962
  6. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 140
  7. ^ Herbert Hewitt Stroup, 1985 Social welfare pioneers Roman and Littlefield ISBN 0-88229-212-9 page 185
 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
  • Life of St. Vincent de Paul by F. A. Forbes
  • Biography of St. Vincent de Paul by Catholic Encyclopedia
  • The life of St. Vincent de Paul (1856)
  • Founder Statue in St Peter's Basilica
  • Vincent on Leadership: The Hay Project
  • "St. Vincent of Paul, Confessor", Butler's Lives of the Saints


Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today's Snippet I:  Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul

The Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, (in Latin Societas Filiarum Caritatis a S. Vincentio de Paulo) sometimes simply referred to as Daughters of Charity, is a Society of Apostolic Life for women within the Catholic Church. Its members take simple, private, annual vows. It was founded in 1633 and devoted to serving Jesus Christ in persons who are poor through corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

They have Sometimes been popularly known in France as "the Grey Sisters" from the colour of their traditional religious habit, which was originally grey, then bluish grey. The 1996 publication The Vincentian Family Tree presents an overview of related communities from a genealogical perspective.[1] They carry the initials F.d.l.C. after their names.


The congregation was founded by Saint Vincent de Paul, a French priest, and Saint Louise de Marillac, a widow. The need of organization in work for the poor suggested to Fr. de Paul the forming of a confraternity among the women of his parish in Châtillon-les-Dombes. It was so successful that it spread from the rural districts to Paris, where noble ladies often found it hard to give personal care to the needs of the poor. The majority sent their servants to minister to those in need, but often the work was considered unimportant. Vincent de Paul remedied this by referring young women who inquired about serving persons in need to go to Paris and devote themselves to this ministry under the direction of the Ladies of Charity. These young girls formed the nucleus of the Daughters of Charity now spread over the world. On 29 November 1633, Louise de Marillac began a more systematic training of the women, particularly for the care of the sick. The sisters lived in community in order to better develop the spiritual life and thus, more effectively, carry out their mission of service in a Christ-like manner. From the beginning, the community motto was: "The charity of Christ impels us!"

Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul both died in 1660, and by this time there were more than forty houses of the Sisters of Charity in France, and the sick poor were cared for in their own dwellings in twenty-six parishes in Paris.


From that time and through the 19th century, the community spread to Austria, Australia, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Americas. During this period, the ministry of the Sisters developed to caring for others in need such as orphans and those with physical disabilities.

The mother house of the Daughters of Charity is located at 140 rue du Bac, in Paris, France. The remains of Louise de Marillac and those of Saint Catherine Labouré lie preserved in the chapel of the mother house. Catherine Labouré was the Daughter of Charity to whom, in 1830, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared, commissioning her to spread devotion to the Medal of Mary Immaculate, commonly called the Miraculous Medal
The traditional habit of the Daughters of Charity was one of the most conspicuous of Catholic religious sisters, as it included a large starched cornette on the head. The sisters universally adopted a more simple modern dress and blue coiffe on 20 September 1964.

United States

On 31 July 1809, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton founded her Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph at Emmitsburg, Maryland, U.S.A., basing her congregation on the Common Rules of the Daughters of Charity. About fifty years later, the congregation was accepted as the first U.S. province of the Daughters of Charity.


Many hospitals, orphanages, and educational institutions were established and operated by the Daughters of Charity over the years, including Saint Joseph College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, Marillac College in Missouri, Santa Isabel College in Manila, Saint Louise's Comprehensive College in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Saint Louise de Marillac High School in Illinois. Though no longer staffed and run by the Daughters, five of the hospitals which were founded by them in the USA continue to operate within the St. Vincent's Health Care System. In Mayagüez, Puerto Rico they help run the Asilo De Pobres.

In the UK, the Daughters of Charity are based at Mill Hill, north London, and have registered charity status.
They operate St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home near Washington, D.C

Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul

St. Louise de Marillac
Saint Louise de Marillac, D.C., (August 12, 1591 - March 15, 1660) was the co-founder, with St. Vincent de Paul, of the Daughters of Charity. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church 

Early life

Louise de Marillac was born out of wedlock on August 15, 1591 near Le Meux,[1] in the Department of Oise, in the Picardy region of France. She never knew her mother. Louis de Marillac claimed her as his natural daughter yet not his legal heir. Louis was a member of the prominent de Marillac family and was a widower at the time of Louise’s birth. His brother, Michel de Marillac, was a major figure in the court of Queen Marie de' Medici and, though Louise was not a member of the Queen’s court, she lived and worked among the French aristocracy. Thus Louise grew up amid the affluent society of Paris, but without a stable home life. When her father married his new wife, Antoinette Le Camus, she refused to accept Louise as part of their family. Nevertheless, Louise was cared for and received an excellent education at the royal monastery of Poissy near Paris, where her aunt was a Dominican nun.

Louise was schooled among the country’s elite and was introduced to the arts and humanities as well as to a deep spiritual life. She remained at Poissy until her father’s death when she was twelve years old. Louise then stayed with a good, devout spinster, from whom she learned household management skills. Around the age of fifteen, Louise felt drawn to the cloistered life. She later made application to the Capuchin nuns in Paris, but she was refused admission. It is not clear if her refusal was due to her continual poor health or other reasons, but her spiritual director’s prophetic response to her application was that God had “other plans” for her.

Devastated by this refusal, Louise was at a loss as to the next step in her spiritual development. By twenty-two years of age, her family had convinced her that marriage was the best alternative. Her uncle arranged for her to marry Antoine Le Gras, secretary to Queen Marie. Antoine was an ambitious young man who seemed destined for great accomplishments. Louise and Antoine were wed in the fashionable Church of St. Gervaise on February 5, 1617. A year later, the couple had their only child, Michel. Louise grew to truly love Antoine and was an attentive mother to their son. Along with being devoted to her family, Louise was also active in ministry in her parish. Around 1621, Antoine contracted a chronic illness and eventually became bedridden. Louise lovingly nursed and cared for him and their child. However, depression caused her to question her continuing as a wife and a mother.

Louise suffered for years with internal doubt and guilt at having not pursued the religious calling she had felt as a young woman, and she prayed for resolution, which she finally received during an inner experience of divine communication with God. In 1623, at the age of thirty-two, she wrote, "On the feast of Pentecost during Holy Mass or while I was praying in the church, my mind was completely freed of all doubt. I was advised that I should remain with my husband and that the time would come when I would be in the position to make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and that I would be in a small community where others would do the same." She continued, “I felt that it was God who was teaching me these things and that, believing there is a God; I should not doubt the rest.” She vowed not to remarry should her husband die before her. Louise also received insight that she would be guided to a new spiritual director whose face she was shown. When she came to meet Vincent de Paul, she recognized him as the priest from her vision.

Three years after this experience, Antoine died and left Louise to fulfill her next great mission in life. She now focused intently on her own spiritual development. Being a woman of great energy, intelligence, determination and devotion, Louise wrote her own "Rule of Life in the World" which detailed a structure for her day. Time was set aside for reciting the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion, meditation, spiritual reading, fasting, penance, reciting the rosary and special prayers. Still, Louise managed to find time to maintain her household, entertain guests and nurture Michel, her thirteen year old son, with special needs. Throughout all this activity, Louise realized she needed guidance and a tempering of her intensity and drive. This was to come from her relationship with Vincent de Paul.

Co-Founding with St Vincent de Paul,

Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul met around the time of Antoine's passing in 1625. Vincent quickly recognized Louise's power and intelligence and understood her desire for spiritual direction. Over the next four years, Vincent and Louise communicated often through letters and personal meetings, with Vincent guiding Louise to greater balance in a life of moderation, peace and calm. In 1629, Vincent invited Louise to get involved in his work with the Confraternities of Charity. She found great success in these endeavors. Then, in 1632, Louise made a spiritual retreat seeking inner guidance regarding her next step. Her intuition led her to understand that it was time to intensify her ministry with poor and needy persons, while still maintaining a deep spiritual life. Louise, at age forty-two, drawn to focus on mission, communicated this aspiration to Monsieur Vincent. By the end of 1633, he too had received the guidance needed for them to bring the Daughters of Charity into existence.

In 17th-century France, the charitable care of the poor was completely unorganized. Many underprivileged people were victims of non-existent care or poor hospital conditions. The Ladies of Charity, founded by Vincent years earlier, provided some care and monetary resources, but this wasn’t enough. For, though the wealthy Ladies of Charity had the funds to aid poor people, they did not have the time or temperament to live a life of service and insertion among persons who were poor. Louise found the help she needed in young, humble, country women who had the energy and the proper attitude to deal with people weighed down by destitution and suffering. She began working with a group of them and saw a need for common life and formation. Consequently, she invited four of these country girls to live in her home and began forming them to care for those in need. She also taught them how to deepen their spiritual life. "Love the poor and honor them as you would honor Christ Himself," Louise explained. This was the foundation of the Company of the Daughters of Charity, who received official approbation in 1655.

Louise's work with these young women developed into a system of pastoral care at the Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest and largest hospital in Paris. Their work became well known and the Daughters were invited to Angers to take over management of the nursing services of the hospital there. This was the first ministry outside Paris for the fledgling community, so Louise herself made the arduous journey there in the company of three Sisters. After completing negotiations with the city officials and the hospital managers, Louise instituted collaboration among the doctors, nurses and others to form a comprehensive team. This model was highly successful and is still in use today by the Daughters of Charity. Under the guidance of Louise de Marillac, the Daughters expanded their scope of service to include orphanages, institutions for the elderly and mentally ill, prisons, and the battlefield.

In working with her Sisters, Louise emphasized a balanced life, as Vincent de Paul had taught her.It was the integration of contemplation and activity that made Louise's work so successful. The Sisters were encouraged to pray and work together, and to live every moment in imitation of Christ by inwardly asking; "What would Jesus do in this situation?" The key for Louise was letting go of her personal plan and surrendering to God's will. She wrote near the end of her life, "Certainly it is the great secret of the spiritual life to abandon to God all that we love by abandoning ourselves to all that He wills."

Louise led the Company of Daughters until her death. A present day observer might surmise that Vincent de Paul was the heart of the Daughters of Charity, while Louise was the head. This isn’t quite true, for Louise had a big heart, too. However, this statement is made to give tribute to Louise’s strong intellect, organizational skills and her ability to get things accomplished Louise was positive and exuberant in her energy, always urging her Sisters to do more and do it well. But along with the activity, she also modeled love. Nearing her death, she wrote to her Sisters: “Take good care of the service of the poor. Above all, live together in great union and cordiality, loving one another in imitation of the union and life of our Lord. Pray earnestly to the Blessed Virgin, that she might be your only Mother.”

After increasingly ill health, Louise de Marillac died on March 15, 1660, six months before the death of her dear friend and mentor, Vincent de Paul. She was sixty-eight years of age. By the time of her death, the Daughters of Charity had more than forty houses in France. Today, she continues to live in her spiritual followers: the Daughters of Charity, Sisters of Charity, Ladies of Charity, and many collaborators serving throughout the world.


Louise de Marillac was beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and, on March 11, 1934, she was canonized by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is March 15. To this day, her remains are enshrined in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. She was declared Patroness of Christian Social Workers by Pope John XXIII in 1960. Those disappointed in their children, orphans, people rejected by religious Orders, the sick, the Vincentian Service Corps and widows could also take St. Louise as an example and intercessor. As a wife, mother, widow, teacher, nurse, social worker and religious foundress, she stands as a model for all women.


  1. ^ McNeil, Betty Ann (1996). The Vincentian Family Tree: A Genealogical Study. Chicago: Vincentian Studies Institute.
  2. ^ Traditional habit of the Daughters of Charity
  3. ^ STVHS
  4. ^
  6. ^ St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home website - Mission


Today's Snippet II :  Society of St Vincent de Paul

The Society of St Vincent de Paul is an international Catholic voluntary organization dedicated to the sanctification of its members through serving the poor and disadvantaged. Such service has been historically provided by the "home visit". 


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 to serve impoverished people living in the slums of Paris, France. The primary figure behind the society's founding was Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, a French lawyer, author, and professor in the Sorbonne. He was 20 years old when the society was founded.,[2] and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

The Society took the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Vincent de Paul as its patrons under the influence of Sister Rosalie Rendu, D.C. Sister Rosalie (who was herself beatified in November 2003 by Pope John Paul II) was a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, and was well known for her work with people in the slums of Paris. She guided Frédéric and his companions in their approach towards those in need.

The society gradually expanded outside Paris in the mid 19th century and received benefactors in places such as Tours where figures such as the Venerable Leo Dupont, known as the Holy Man of Tours, became contributors.[3]

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is part of the Vincentian Family which also includes the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian priests and brothers, also founded by St. Vincent de Paul), Daughters of Charity, Ladies of Charity (organization of lay women who help the poor, founded by St. Vincent de Paul), Sisters of Charity in the Setonian tradition, and several others, including some religious groups who are part of the Anglican Communion, like Company of Mission Priests.


The Society numbers about 700,000 in some 142 countries worldwide, whose members operate through "conferences". A conference may be based out of a church, community center, school, hospital, etc., and is composed of Catholic volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to help those in need in their community. Non-Catholics may join with the understanding that the society is a Catholic organization. Following the changes in the new Code of Canon Law of 1983, the Society is one of many private lay associations under the auspices of the Congregation for the Laity.

United States

The Society’s first Conference in the United States was established in 1845 in St. Louis, Mo. Membership in the United States totals more than 172,000 in 4,600 communities. The national headquarters is in St. Louis. Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the elderly and medicine. The Society in the United States provides more than $675 million in tangible and in-kind services, serves more than 14 million people in need each year, performs more than 648,000 visits to people in their homes, and delivers more than 7 million service hours to those in need.

United Kingdom

Youth SVP (England and Wales) was founded by the Society together with former teacher Paul Lever in 1999. Young people from Catholic schools and parishes from across England and Wales are involved in a range of volunteering projects in their local communities.

One of the great successes of Youth SVP in the first decade after it was founded was its annual Camp Vincent at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire. This involved young volunteers from across England and Wales coming together for four days, with icebreakers, morning and evening spiritual reflections, music, group-based morning workshops, sporting and creative activities, an "It's a knockout"-style competition, evening entertainment including a karaoke/disco and a final-day Youth SVP Mass. The Mass involved a large amount of congregational participation, with the young volunteers in their camp groups taking significant sections of the Mass and delivering an interpretation through song, role-play, arts and crafts, dance or a symbol to name a few.

Further to the success of Youth SVP, a new project, SVP 1833, was started with the aim of involving younger adults, with a target age group of 18-30+. The name 1833 stems from the year the Society was founded by Frédéric Ozanam. SVP 1833 groups were established in university Catholic chaplaincies, as well as in a range of other meeting places in cities across England and Wales.

Following the departure of National Youth Development Officer Paul Lever in 2009, the last successful Camp Vincent in 2010 and a decline in participation in 2011, Youth SVP was relaunched in August 2012 in London with a new image and a new focus.


St Vincent de Paul Society Opportunity shop in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
In Australia, the society has engaged over 40,000 members and has many more volunteers. 'Vinnies Youth', the youth membership of the Society in Australia, engage young people from the age of 10 to 30 in the society's many works throughout the country.

CEO Winter Sleepout

The aim of the CEO Sleepout is to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless.[4] Starting out as a local community venture in Sydney’s Parramatta in 2006, the CEO Sleepout launched nation wide in 2011, exceeding expectations with almost 700 CEO’s participating.


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul came to Mumbai in 1862, when the Conference of Our Lady of Hope, Bhuleshwar, was established by Fr. Leo Meurin, S.J. (later Bishop Meurin of Bombay) in the Cathedral there. With the closure of the Cathedral in 1942, the Conference was transferred to the Church of Our Lady of Health, Cavel. The second Conference, the Conference of St. Teresa, Girgaum was established in 1862 in Mumbai by Fr. Meurin. Early in 1863 he established four more conferences in Mumbai, namely, the Conferences of St. Peter, Bandra, St. Joseph, Umerkhadi, Our Lady of Victories, Mahim and St. Anne, Mazagaon.[5] St Vincent De Paul Society is very active in the Southern part of India especially in Kerala Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is playing an important role in St Vincent De Paul Society works.

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an East Syrian Rite, Major Archiepiscopal Church in full communion with the Catholic Church. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest of the Saint Thomas Christian denominations with more than 4.1 million believers.[6] It is also the second largest Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome.[7]



    1. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 25, 1951 page 206
    2. ^ Herbert Hewitt Stroup, 1985 Social welfare pioneers Roman and Littlefield ISBN 0-88229-212-9 page 185
    3. ^ Joan Carroll Cruz, OCDS, "Saintly Men of Modern Times" (2003) ISBN 1-931709-77-7 page 195
    4. ^ Schenkel, Gerd (3 June 2011). "Could you sleep outside tonight?" (in Australian). Blog. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
    5. ^ S.V.P. completes 150 years in India
    6. ^ name="Official Website"
    7. ^ Annuario Pontificio- The Pontifical year Book for 2008