Vincent de Paul named Louise de Marillac Visitor of the Confraternities of Charity, saying “Go, therefore, Mademoiselle, go in the name of Our Lord…shelter in rain and cold, your soft bed in weariness, your strength in your toil, and, finally, that He may bring you back in perfect health and filled with good works.”
Congregation of the Mission
In 1625, St. Vincent and three priests pledged to, in his own words, “…to live together as a Congregation… and to devote ourselves to the salvation of the poor country folk.” The Congregation of the Mission is later approved in the Papal Bull Salvatoris Nostri. It is affirmed that the Congregation was founded for the evangelization of the poor and must ensure the founding of Confraternities of Charity so that the poor are served and that lay people are included in the evangelization.
The first inspiration occurred in Châtillon-les-Dombes in a homily by Vincent de Paul, to which more than 50 women responded and provided services to a family in need. St. Vincent founded the first lay organization to work with the poor (all women) and called it the Confraternity of Charities. This was in August 1617 and on December 8 the official rule of the Confraternity was accepted by the Bishop of Lyons.