Ordained in 1600, Vincent de Paul began his priesthood working with some of the wealthiest, most prestigious families in France. For five years, he served as household tutor and spiritual director to the influential Gondi family. While he loved the experience, Vincent soon found his true calling – ministering to the poor. He devoted his life to prayer, selfless service and sacramental ministry and worked to bring the Gospel to the least of God’s people.
Following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, Vincent founded the Congregation of the Mission to share God’s love with people in need. Together with his confreres, Vincent ministered to those on the fringes of society – galley slaves, war victims and the materially poor. In prayer, Vincent begged God for the humility, simplicity and gentleness he needed to carry out this important work.
Like our founder, Vincentian priests and brothers dedicate our lives to prayer, community life and evangelical service. St. Vincent de Paul’s example of holiness and energetic labors has inspired generations of Vincentians to follow Jesus – simply and humbly – by seeking out those in most need of God’s love and mercy.