The Conference of Charity was founded by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (a French lawyer, literary scholar and advocate; 1813 - 1853) along with six like-minded individuals in Paris, France in 1833. Founders are students at Sorbonne University at the time of establishment. The Conference took Saint Vincent de Paul as its Patron Saint, a great saint well known for his works of charity. This Conference later came to be known as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP), an international voluntary, lay Catholic organisation of members, committed to help all those in need, including the poor and the vulnerable.
The vocation of the Society's members, who are called Vincentians, is to follow Christ through service to those in need and so bear witness to His compassionate and liberating love. Members show their commitment through person-to-person contact. Vincentians serve in hope.
Lord Jesus, You who willed to become poor, give us eyes and a heart directed toward the poor, Help us to recognise You in them - In their thirst, their hunger, their loneliness and their misfortune. Enkindle within our Vincentian family, unity, simplicity, humility and the fire of love that burned in St Vincent de Paul. Strengthen us, so that, faithful to the practice of these virtues, we may contemplate You, and serve You, in the person of the poor. And may one day be united with You and them in Your Kingdom. Amen.
That the poor and marginalised whom we serve become self-reliant and lead fulfilling and dignified lives.
To serve and journey with the poor and marginalised, regardless of their race, nationality and religion, bringing them hope for a better life and a better future.
Spirituality : We live the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor, and striving to deepen our faith via action meeting real needs.
Empathy : We listen and serve with love and compassion.
Simplicity : In frankness, integrity, genuineness.
Humility : In accepting the truth about our frailties, gifts talents and charisms, yet knowing that all that God gives us is for others and that we can achieve nothing of eternal value without His grace.
Gentleness : In friendly assurance and invincible goodwill, which means kindness, tenderness and patience in our relationship with others.
Selflessness : In dying to our ego with a life of selfsacrifice; members share their time, their possessions, their talents and themselves in a spirit of generosity.
Zeal :A passion for the full flourishing and eternal happiness of every person.