Monsieur Vincent was born near Dax on 24 April 1581 to a peasant family with very modest incomes. He studied theology in Dax and Toulouse. He was ordained priest in 1600 and 5 years later he was taken captive by pirates during a trip and sent to Tunis for 2 years. Back in France, after "meeting" the poor in 1617, he founded the "Ladies of the Charity" to help them financially and spiritually, supported by well-off ladies. In 1619, he was made head chaplain of the galley slaves and always proved charitable.
In 1625 he founded the Congregation of Priests of the Mission also known as Lazarists, whose goal was to help and evangelize the poor in the countryside. In 1633 he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity (also known as the Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul) with Louise de Marillac to help the sick and the poor and the abandoned children. He also helped the victims of the religion war between catholics and protestants, and always preached moderation. He made all possible efforts to help or free the christians imprisoned in inhuman conditions in Barbary. He spoke up for peace several times to the kings of France and the court to end wars and organized help for the inhabitants of the devastate regions.
He then founded an important almshouse for the elder. After a life dedicated to the poor and the sick and to God, Vincent died on 27 September 1660, murmuring "Trust! Jesus!". His body has remained incorrupt to this day.
"Notre vocation est donc d'aller, non en une paroisse, ni seulement en un évêché, mais par toute la terre; et quoi faire? Embraser les cœurs des hommes, faire ce que le Fils de Dieu a fait, lui qui est venu mettre le feu au monde afin de l'enflammer de son amour."