Saint Lazare

From VincentWiki
The Crest of Old St Lazare, showing Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead

The Priory of Saint Lazare

The Priory of St Lazare, (107 Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, Paris, 10th Arrondissement) in the area which now includes the Gare du Nord and the Church of St Vincent de Paul, was the home of Vincent de Paul for the latter part of his life, after the Congregation of the Mission moved there from the College des Bons Enfants in 1632. The property seems to have dated back to the 6th Century. In Vincent's time it consisted of the Priory and other buildings, farm and orchards, and was under the administration of the Canons of St Victor until handed over to the Congregation of the Mission in 1632. As well as being a Priory for the Canons, the property had housed a Leprosarium, a Lunatic Asylum, and the Court of Justice for the area.

The Crest on the wall of the Hospital St Lazare.

St Lazare was sacked on the night of July 13-14, 1789, at the time of the French Revolution (before the Bastille was stormed - apparently the mob practiced on the CMs!) It was later lost to the Congregation of the Mission and eventually demolished, but reminders of its former presence, and the work of Vincent de Paul, still exist.

One reminder is the original St Lazare Crest, now on the wall of a building of the Hospital St Lazare at the end of the small Square Alban Satragne. The Crest depicts Lazarus being raised from the dead.

Except for a portion of a wall, the actual buildings of St Lazare have now disappeared.

Diorama of the St Lazare Enclosure

However, Jeffrey Wrona, a Chicago USA artist, has constructed an exhibit entitled "The Clos Saint-Lazare, Paris, and its Neighborhood in the Time of St Vincent de Paul and his First Successors, ca. 1630-1792". The exhibit features an original diorama of the property as it appeared in 1783, just prior to the French Revolution. Details of this diorama can be found in the article: Zurawski, Simone, "Saint-Lazare in the Ancien Regime - From Saint Vincent de Paul to the French Revolution", Vincentian Heritage, Volume 14, Number 1, (1993), 15-35. The photos below from the above article give us some idea of the extent and size of the Enclosure of Saint Lazare in 1783:

Overview of Buildings as they appeared in 1783, Diorama of the Clos-Saint-Lazare, John T. Richardson Library, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois. (Reproduced with permission)
View of the Buildings and Second Courtyard 1783, Diorama of the Clos-Saint-Lazare, John T. Richardson Library, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois.(Reproduced with permission)
Chapel of the Clos-Saint Lazare, Lautissier CM, C., Ed., Vincent de Paul, Documents des Origines Vincentiennes - Ecrits, Images [CD ROM] Congrégation de la Mission, 95, rue de Sèvres, 75006, Paris, c.1999,, 12clxv

Mural of Vincent de Paul

A striking image of Vincent de Paul is located in the area which was once part of St Lazare. It was constructed in 1988 on the end of a five story apartment building which had been built in the early 18th Century by the Vincentians, and consists of 'ribs' of black metal of varying sizes fixed at right angles to the wall. The mural is by artist Yvaral, and is situated at the edge of the Square Alban Satragne in the 10th Arrondissement, not far from the Gare du Nord.

Mural of Vincent de Paul on wall of apartment block

Memorial in Square Alban Satragne

Memorial to Vincent in the Square Alban Satragne
Inscription on the Memorial shown at right

A memorial to Vincent de Paul has been set up in the park in the Square Alban Satragne, on the site of the original Saint Lazare, in the vicinity of the Gare du Nord.

Some street names in the area remind us of past times - Cour de la Ferme Saint Lazare, and Passage de la Ferme Saint Lazare.



Coste, CM, Pierre, The Life and Works of St Vincent de Paul, New City Press NY, (1987), 160.


Church of Saint Lawrence Virtual Tour of Paris, John Rybolt CM