Deputy Principal - Mission & Faith

Saint Vincent de Paul – and his legacy

Tuesday 27 September was the Feast Day of Saint Vincent de Paul.  He lived a life dedicated to the poor and inspired Frederic Ozanam to found the Saint Vincent de Paul Society which is now throughout the world including our Sunbury Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and also here at Salesian College Sunbury.

Saint Vincent de Paul (1581 – 1660) was a French Catholic Priest who dedicated his life to serving the poor. He was born in Pouy in Gascony France.  He entered the Seminary at aged 15 and was ordained a Priest at aged 19.  In 1605 he was captured by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery for two years.  After escaping his slavery he did further studies and was a spiritual advisor but by 1612 he was directing his efforts to the poor.  He collected funds for victims of war and slavery, founded hospitals and ministered to galley slaves.  He founded the Congregation of the Mission or “Vincentians” an Order of Priests who devote themselves to the poor.  He also founded the Daughters of Charity, Ladies of Charity, and the Sisters of Charity.  He died in 1660 and was canonized by Pope Clement XII in 1737.

Vincent’s legacy continues to this day with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.  It was founded by Frederic Ozanam in 1833 to help the poor of Paris.  The Society is now in 150 countries around the world with over 800,000 members, 40,000 members and volunteers being in Australia.  The Society serves the most vulnerable in society through home visitations, soup vans, supporting asylum seekers and refugees, Vinnes Op Shops and accommodation.


Salesian College has its own Young Vinnies chapter of about 25 students from Years 7 to 12.  They organise and participate in a number of activities such as the Winter Sleep out, the Winter Woollies Drive as well as the Christmas Toy Drive.  This year they have ventured into Nursing Home visits and hope to prepare Christmas Hampers.

As you can see the work of Saint Vincent de Paul 400 years ago has had a lasting legacy effecting millions of people around the world.

The logo of St Vicent de Paul society explained