The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is an international organisation formed of lay Catholics, who seek personal and spiritual growth through service to those most in need.
Paris. France. 23 April 1833. A group of young university students, seeing the social inequality and injustice all around them, decided to take action, hoping to change the world. They formed the first “Conference of Charity”, a group of friends who wanted to share their faith and put it into action.
Prayer and action came together in their visits to the Mouffetard district, one of the poorest parts of Paris. It was a Daughter of Charity, Sister Rosalie Rendu, who guided and supported them, instructing them about the teachings of Saint Vincent de Paul.
In 1834, the Conferences took St Vincent as their patron saint, and dedicated themselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The following year, the first Rule was produced,and in 1839 the International Council General was formed. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is present in over 150 countries, with 800,000 members and 1,500,000 volunteers. Every day, it helps over 30 million people. The SSVP is an associate member of UNESCO and a special adviser to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is also part of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and is aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations in its Agenda 2030.