Frederic OzanamThe International Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 20-year-old law student at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Challenged to “practice what they preach,” Frederic and a group of fellow students sought out the poor in Paris and initially brought them firewood to keep warm and subsequently bread, clothing and most importantly, friendship. This small group was guided by Sister Rosalie Rendu, a Daughter of Charity.  The Society took as its Patron and model St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th Century French priest known as the “Apostle of Charity.”

Similar groups began forming across France and eventually throughout the Christian world, including the United States.  The first conference in the United States was founded in 1845 in St. Louis, Missouri, where the National Council is located today.

Here in the Sacramento Diocese, the first St. Vincent de Paul District Council was incorporated in 1955.

 

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