"A network of friends, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need." (1)
"The mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is like the mission of Jesus (Lk 4): to bring the good news to the Poor and to nurture life and hope where there is not much life and little hope. In the Vincentian spirit it is not enough to bring the Poor something to eat, but also to bring God’s love. Our founders understood that Jesus calls us to love those who are Poor, hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, imprisoned and sick. They understood that Jesus identifies Himself with such as these. (Mt 25: 35-40).
The founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is Frederick Ozanam. Born in France in 1813 he was studying at the Sorbonne when a fellow member of a kind of debating club (the Conference of History, formed to discuss historical and literary topics) challenged Frederick and other Catholics to ‘Show us your works.’” (2) Thus was born the Conference of Charity or as we know it today, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The Society is named for the 17th century saint by the same name who, like Mother Teresa in the 20th century, knew no limits to the gift of self in behalf of the poorest and most wretched among us.
(1) National Council of the United State, Society of St. Vincent de Paul
(2) Quoted from Vincentian Leadership Part 1 a publication of the National Council of the United States, Society of SVDP