*Note: The video states that in 1634 the Ladies of Charity was established in Paris to help Vincent de Paul minister to poor people who were ill. To clarify, the Ladies of Charity regard their origin to have occurred in August 1617 at Châtillon-les-Dombes after a homily by St. Vincent de Paul, to which more than 50 women responded and provided services to a family in need. During the next few years Vincent established Confraternities of Charity in every village where he gave missions; these Ladies of Charity would continue to build Christian community at the parish level.

Later, in 1634, Lady of Charity “Madame Goussault, who had been active in the Charity of her own parish and also in visiting those of the countryside, approached Vincent to suggest a new kind of Confraternity. She had been visiting the sick of the Hotel Dieu [hospital in Paris] and was appalled at the neglect of their spiritual needs. Vincent did not want to interfere in what was the apostolate of the Canons of Notre Dame. But the determined Madame Goussault took her observations to the Archbishop of Paris, who responded by ordering Vincent to establish a Charity for the Hotel Dieu. Vincent accepted the command as God’s Will and called a meeting at the home of Mme. Goussault early in 1634. The ladies present decided to undertake the work. Describing the meeting and its results to Louise, Vincent added, ‘They will need you and the girls.'” [referring to the early Daughters of Charity]

– Padberg, Collette and Hannefin, Daniel D.C. (1982) “Saint Vincent’s First Foundation: The Ladies of Charity,” Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 3.


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