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St. Vincent de Paul was born to poor parents in France. He eventually attended university in Toulouse for theological studies and was ordained a priest in 1600.
In 1605, Vincent fell into the hands of African pirates and was taken as a slave to Tunis. His captivity lasted until his escape about two years later. After returning to France, he became preceptor in the family of the Count of Goigny. Through this lofty association, Vincent came to preach missions to peasants as well as convicts in the galleys. In 1625, he established the foundations of a congregation which later became the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, so named on account of the Priory of St. Lazarus which the Fathers began to occupy in 1633. The Sisters of Charity also owe their foundation to St. Vincent.
Vincent’s predominant virtue was charity, extending to all classes of persons. Despite his association with the nobility of his day, Vincent remained deeply rooted in humility. In the midst of the most distracting occupations, his soul was always closely united with God. A true servant of God, St. Vincent de Paul died in Paris on September 27, 1660.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque.)
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