Born to a peasant family, highly intelligent, Vincent spent four years with the Franciscan friars at Acq, France getting an education. He became a tutor to children of a gentlemen in Acq, and was ordained aged 20.
He was taken captive by Turkish pirates to Tunis and sold into slavery. Freed in 1607 when he converted one of his owners to Christianity. Returning to France, he served as parish priest near Paris where he started organizations to help the poor, nursed the sick and found jobs for the unemployed. Chaplain at the court of Henry IV of France. Together with Louise de Marillac, Vincent founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity and instituted the Congregation of Priests of the Mission (Lazarists). He worked tirelessly for the poor, the enslaved, the abandoned, the ignored and the pariahs.
Patron against leprosy.
Patron for charitable workers, charities, horses, hospital workers, hospitals, lepers, lost articles, prisoners, spiritual help and volunteers.