Vincentian family

Depaul International and the Depaul Group of charities help homeless and disadvantaged people around the world and are part of the Vincentian Family.  This is a loose collective of religious and lay organisations inspired by Vincent de Paul, a major spiritual and social reformer working in 17th century France.

Vincent de Paul founded three of the four main organisations in his lifetime:

  • The Congregation of the Mission (often called the Vincentian Fathers) in 1625
  • The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul in 1633
  • The Ladies of Charity (now known as the AIC or the Association Internationale de Charites) in 1634* 

The fourth member of this main group, which came into being about 200 years later, is

  • The Society of St Vincent de Paul (the SVP or SSVP) founded by Frederic Ozanam in 1833

Vincentian Family table imageOver the centuries other groups have grown up, within both the Catholic and Anglican churches, which have taken Vincent as their inspiration, and set up projects working with the needy across the world. 

In 1989, in response to the growing numbers of homeless young people near Westminster Cathedral in London, the late Cardinal Basil Hume asked the Daughters of Charity, the SVP, and the Passage in Victoria (another Vincent-inspired charity with day centre facilities for homeless people of all ages) to set up a new charity to help these vulnerable young people.  From those founding roots, the Depaul Group has grown over the past few years to be an international charity in its own right, and now works with homeless and disadvantaged people in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Ukraine, the USA and France.  As a younger charity which celebrated its 21st birthday in 2010, we are proud to remember our roots, and to be acknowledged as belonging to the Vincentian Family.

You can find out more about the global work of the Vincentian Family by visiting

*At the time it was founded in 1634 its name was the Ladies of Charity of the Hotel-Dieu, although it could trace its roots even further back to the Confraternity of Charity which began in 1617 in Chatillon.  For more information about how the various charities developed see St. Vincent de Paul, A Biography by Fr. Jose Maria Roman ISBN 1-901764-08-7.

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