July 19: St Vincent de Paul, memorial
One of the most famous saints by virtue of the society bearing his name, St Vincent de Paul (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660) was a Catholic priest dedicated to serving the poor.
Captured by Turkish pirates and sold into slavery, he managed to convert his owner to Christianity and then escape.
He studied in Rome for several years before being sent back to France on a mission to Henry IV of France. He served as chaplain to Marguerite de Valois, as a parish priest, and then as chaplain to the Gondi family, at which time he began giving peasant missions. He subsequently served as chaplain to galley slaves.
In 1625 founded the Vincentians, and in 1633 assisted in the foundation of the Daughters of Charity.