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Thursday, 25 July 2024
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St Vincent de Paul


Vincent de Paul was born around 1580 in Puoy, Gascony, south west France, to a poor peasant family. Being an intelligent youth, Vincent was allowed to spend four years with the Franciscan friars at Acqs, getting an education. In 1596 he began theological studies at the University of Toulouse and was ordained priest in 1600 at the age of 20. For a time he went from place to place preaching, while observing the conditions of the people, especially the poor.

Returning by sea from a journey to Marseilles in 1605, he was captured by Turkish pirates who took him to Tunis, where he was sold as a slave. Two years later he managed to escape together with his master, a renegade whom he had converted to Christianity.

After returning to France, he served as parish priest near Paris where he founded several organizations to help the poor, nurse the sick, finding jobs for the unemployed, etc.

Vincent de Paul died in Paris in 1660. In 1737 he was canonized by Pope Clement XII. His feast day is on 27th September.

His bones are encased in a wax figure, and rest in a reliquary in the chapel of the Vincentian Fathers in Paris,within walking distance of the
Rue du Bac
. His still incorrupt heart is enclosed on the altar of his shrine in the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity, at the Rue du Bac in Paris.


Documentary on Vincent