St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul was born to a peasant family in 1581 in southwest France. He was educated by Franciscan friars before beginning studies at the University of Toulouse in 1596. He was ordained when he was 20 years old. Captured by pirates, St. Vincent de Paul was sold into slavery. He was only freed in 1607 after he converted his owner to Christianity. While serving as a parish priest in Paris, he formed groups to help the poor, the ill and the unemployed. With Louise de Marillac, he founded the Daughters of Charity. He also instituted the Congregation of Priests of the Mission (Lazarists). St. Vincent de Paul always worked for those in society who needed the most help: the poor, abandoned, ignored, sick, etc. He died in Paris in 1660, and his body was later found incorrupt. St. Vincent de Paul is patron saint of charities, St. Vincent de Paul societies, Vincentian Service Corps and volunteers.