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Catholic Dictionary

Term

SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL

Definition

An association of laymen founded by the French scholar Antoine Frédéric Ozanam (1813-53). Originally called the Conference of Charity, its members are devoted to personal service of the poor through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The first conference was formed at Paris in 1833. Under the revised regulations, women are admitted to membership. Emphasis is also placed on opening stores and rehabilitation workshops and employing handicapped persons in the service of their neighbor. A General Council is the governing body of the society, now established throughout the world.