These words of the principle founder, Frederic Ozanam, are as relevant today as they were in 1833.
Frederic (now Blessed Frederic) was 20 years of age when he together with a group of students of the Sorbonne University set up a Conference of Charity – not for discussion – but for action. They placed the Conference under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660).
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) was founded in Ireland in 1844. It is the largest voluntary charitable organisation in Ireland.
During its history, it has helped people in need through Famine, a Civil War, a War of Independence, two World Wars and several economic recessions.
Our focus is on a practical approach to dealing with poverty, alleviating its effects on individuals and families through working primarily in person-to-person contact through a unique system of family visitation and seeking to achieve social justice and equality of opportunity for all citizens.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) is an international Christian voluntary membership organisation. Membership is open to anyone who can adopt our ethos. We believe that everyone should have the means to live life with dignity.
Ireland is part of the international Society which is represented in over 140 countries; having 700,000 members, 1.5m volunteers, 51,000 Conferences helping 30 million poor throughout the world!
We are one of Ireland's best known and most widely supported organisations of social concern and action with over 11,500 volunteers active in every county in Ireland. Today, volunteer members of SVP are people from all walks of life who want to make a difference to the lives of people in need.
We take our inspiration from Blessed Frederick Ozanam, one of our principal founders. As a young university student in Paris in 1833, he and six companions set up a 'Conference of Charity' visiting poor people, bringing food, clothing, and friendship. They adopted St Vincent de Paul as their patron.