St Vincent de Paul was born to a poor peasant family in the French village of Pouy on April 24, 1581. He was ordained in 1600 and spent his life preaching missions to and providing relief to the poor. He even established hospitals for them. This work became his passion. He later extended his concern and ministry to convicts.
The need to evangelize and assist these souls was so great and the demands beyond his own ability to meet that he founded the Ladies of Charity, a lay institute of woman, to help, as well as a religious institute of priests – the Congregation of Priests of the Mission, commonly referred to now as the Vincentians. St Vincent is sometimes referred to as “The Apostle of Charity” and “The Father of the Poor“.