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The year was 1833 and times were very difficult in Paris, France for young 20-year-old college student Frederic Ozanam, who was studying at the Sorbonne University.
One day as he and his friends were engaged in discussion, another student challenged him to put his Catholic faith into action. And so it was that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul began.
Along with five other students, Frederic and his friends began to visit the poor in the slums of Paris. They took Saint Vincent de Paul, a humble French Priest who served the poor during the mid 1600s, as their patron saint.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an organization that follows in his footsteps by praying and helping others in order to grow in holiness and closer to God. Members are called Vincentians and they volunteer to answer the call to help the poor and to pray.
Young Vincentians are members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul who also seek to grow closer to God by service to others. They participate spiritually through prayer, as well as by participating in projects that assist the poor in some way.