Vincentian Encyclopedia

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What is the Vincentian Encyclopedia?

It is a collaborative effort to create a Vincentian encyclopedia of articles and other information useful for those who follow Vincent, Louise and their spiritual companions: a resource for those who are part of the Vincentian family and for others seeking reliable information on people, topics, and organizations related to the Vincentian family.

Featured Article

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent dePaul

Vincent had a passion for the poor and a genius for networking and organizing others to meet the full range of needs, both material and spiritual, of those who live on the margins of society.

St. Vincent DePaul (1581-1660) was not only the founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) but also the Daughters of Charity, the Confraternities of Charity and Ladies of Charity (1617).

A man of deep faith and enormous creativity, he is known as the "father of the poor" and "Universal Patron of Charity". His contributions to the education of priests and services for the poor shaped our church's role in the modern world.


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27 September in History

Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul


Death of Vincent de Paul. Pierre Coste describes last moment of St. Vincent de Paul "In Paris, at a quarter to five in the morning, in his room, on his chair by the fireplace, and dressed, without effort or convulsion, Monsieur Vincent dies. And his face, his face of eighty years, is at once a majestic beauty, everyone is surprised. Although since the beginning of the year, Monsieur Vincent has not left his room, he was still busy with matters until September 14, and always with the same lucidity. But on 14th, his old legs have started to flow: their ulcers have grown to the size of a finger. Then from 19, exhausted by his suffering, deprived from sleep for many nights, the dear old man fell into a state of slumber, and he came out intermittently. On September 26, at half past six in the evening, the last rites were administered.

Then, he himself did a noticeable effort to recite the Confiteor. Since that moment, Monsiur Vincent has had the strength to utter, from time to time, one word, one syllable. And Monsieur. Gicquel who, at about two o'clock in the morning on 27th, with well-intentioned zeal which was also untimely, he suggested, without stopping, pious invocations, the holy Founder who, for eighteen years, is preparing two times a day to death, replied: "Enough ..." He repeated, however, one last time: "Jesus", before being seized by the agony hiccups. And so, without historical words, "plainly and simply" Monsieur Vincent died, worn out by his fifty years of total dedication to the service of total Charity" (SV III, pp. 445-455).

Monsieur Gicquel, who was present at the time of his death writes in his diary: "Around four his face was covered with the brilliant and pleasing flushness. It seemed that his face was on fire. Then a little later his face became white as snow. As he experience the nearness of death he repeated the words ‘Deus en adjutorium..etc". He repeated these words never closing his lips but just moving them: Deus en adjutorium, etc. Those present said: ‘Jesus’ and he repeated the word, again just moving his lips. The attack became more severe and around four-thirty he began his final struggle which lasted for another fifteen minutes. There were no convulsions or gasping for air. He died, handing himself over to the hands of the Lord. He died seated, very majestic and appeared calm and peaceful as never before."

1855 Fr. Etienne writes a circular letter to the Daughters of Charity and states that every five years the houses of the Daughters should be visited by the Director, the Visitor or a counselor.


The XXVIII General Assembly of the Congregation of Mission begins. It is presided over by Fr. Verdier, the Vicar General.


An important circular letter of Fr. Souvay, the Superior General, is issued. Because war seems to be near at hand this letter speaks of ways to act if communication with the General Council is interrupted.

1976 The Daughters of Charity open an Internal Seminary in Bolivia.

Other Dates

Vincentian People, Places and Ideas

Many people in the Society and Church of Vincent de Paul's time had an influence on his life and work.

Some of those who follow Vincent's approach to proclaiming the Gospel are recognized at Saints and Blessed by the Church.

There are reminders in many places in France of the life of Vincent de Paul.

Vincent and Louise were masters in fostering collaboration among groups that normally had little contact.


Former Superior General, Fr. Robert Maloney, CM often pointed out how the circle of poverty is increasing.

He reminded people that more than ever we need to expand the "circle of solidarity" and often invited us to be creative especially in reaching out to the young.

Reflection for Sunday Readings

Commit to the Poor of Flesh and Blood

Jesus goes about doing good; he loves in deed and truth. He does not just commit to an ideology. St. Vincent is like him.

Full reflection: Solemnity of St. Vincent de Paul 2023

Admire the Thoughts and Ways of God

Jesus makes known to us God, who is good to all and has mercy on all he has made, and whose thoughts and ways we are to admire.

Full reflection: Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A-2023

Reflections' Library

Getting to Know the Vincentian Family

In the more than 300 years since Vincent and Louise died many have been inspired to walk in their footsteps. Collectively they are known as the Vincentian Family. The following section is devoted to information about what is common and unique in the ways these people walking in the "way of Vincent."

Vincentian-Setonian Researchers


The Congregation of the Mission history project described below is but one example of what the followers or Vincent and Louise are studying and writing about. Many others are researching and writing.

  • Vincentian-Setonian Researchers is the place for people to describe the work they are engaged in and the kind of things they would find helpful in their work.

Other Uses of this resource

How to post news of your Vincentian ministry

Following this link will take you to a list of Vincentian ministries.

As this encyclopedia grows in viewership your organization will receive additional visibility if it is listed here.

Using this site to collaborate on a document


Consider yourself as a member of a committee charged with writing an article on Vincentian formation.

Vincentian Formation

History of the Congregation of the Mission Project


Fr. John Rybolt, CM, and others are currently writing a projected five volume history of the Congregation of the Mission.

The project began in 1992. Upon the death of José María Romón Fuentes, C.M., Father John Rybolt was appointed to continue the work begun byJosé María Romón Fuentes, C.M., and Luigi Mezzadri, C.M.

This began in 2004, resulting first in an outline of the entire work, divided into four volumes: Vol. III: From the French Revolution to 1843; Vol. IV: 1843-1878; Vol. V: 1878-1915; Vol. VI: 1915-1984. We conclude at 1984, it being the year of approval of the new Constitutions.

The following segments are the first in a series of articles concerning the history of the Congregation following the French Revolution.

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