The Inspiration of St. Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul, born in France in 1581, found his way serving the poor, seeking to alleviate their moral and material misery. He worked to mobilize the rich on behalf of foundlings and the elderly. He visited convicts, founded hospices, raised funds for hospitals, etc. Vincent died in 1660 but his works and fame survived him. He was beatified in 1729 and canonized in 1737. He is the patron saint of charitable works.

In the 17th century, the man people called Mr. Vincent

founded the Ladies of Charity (Dames de Charité), a charitable organization comprised of wealthy ladies who helped the poor. Two hundred years later, Emilie Gamelin belonged to an organization of the same name in Montreal.

Vincent de Paul also founded the Daughters of Charity in 1633

This community cared for the sick and for the bodily and spiritual needs of the poor. These sisters were the first religious that went out of a monastery to work where they were needed. In 1843, at the request of Bishop Bourget, Emilie Gamelin traveled to the United States to obtain the Rules of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. It was based on these Rules that the Constitutions of the Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor (first name of the Sisters of Providence) were written. Although some two hundred years separated the life of the Saint from that of Emilie Gamelin, the needs of the poor were still acute.

Centuries have gone by,

but unfortunately we still have many people in need, people who are poor, sick, imprisoned, suffering, the disregarded, and voiceless. This is why we, the Sisters of Providence, continue our Mission, reaching out to people wherever we can help alleviate misery.