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Vincent De Paul

1581-1660. Founder of the Lazarists.* Born in Landes, France, of a peasant family, he studied humanities at Dax (1595-97) and theology at Toulouse (1604). He was for two years a slave in Tunisia after capture by pirates (1605-7). Following his conversion he was almoner to Queen Marquerite of Valois (1610); pastor of a congregation at Clichy (1612-26); and chaplain to the family of Philippe-Emmanuel de Gondi, general of the galleys, which included looking after their household staff and the peasants on their estates. Seeking God rather than benefices, he decided for a life of serving the poor; in 1617 he founded the first Confraternity of Charity. He was appointed superior of the Visitation convents in Paris (1622); principal of the Collège des Bons-Enfants, Paris (1924); superior of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists), and Daughters of Charity (1633). He started retreats for ordinands, organized the Tuesday Conferences for clergy, founded seminaries, established