About this Famous Person

Vincent DE PAUL

French Vincent DE PAUL

born Vincent DEPAUL

Catholic priest dedicated to serving the poor, he was canonised in 1737

Source :  Jean FERRERE

Born: on April 24, 1581 in Pouy, France
Died: on September 27, 1660 in Paris, France


Biography

De Paul was born in Pouy, renamed Saint-Vincent-de-Paul since 1828, Landes, Gascony, France, to a family of peasant farmers. He had four brothers and two sisters.

De Paul studied humanities in Dax, France with the Cordeliers and he graduated in theology at Toulouse. He was ordained in 1600, remaining in Toulouse until he went to Marseille for an inheritance. In 1605, on his way back from Marseille, he was taken captive by Turkish pirates, who brought him to Tunis and sold him into slavery. After converting his owner to Christianity, Vincent de Paul escaped in 1607.

After returning to France, De Paul went to Rome. There he continued his studies until 1609, when he was sent back to France on a mission to Henry IV of France; he served as chaplain to Marguerite de Valois. For a while he was parish priest at Clichy, but from 1612 he began to serve the Gondi, an illustrious family. He was confessor and spiritual director to Mme de Gondi, and he began giving peasant missions on the estate with her aid.

In 1622 De Paul was appointed chaplain to the galleys, and in this capacity he gave missions for the galley-slaves.

In 1625 De Paul founded the Congregation of the Mission, a society of missioning priests commonly known as the Vincentians. In 1633, with the assistance of Louise de Marillac he founded the Daughters of Charity. He also fought against the Jansenist heresy.

De Paul was renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity.

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- Category Priest, nun, rabbi, imam...