Frederic Ozanam: A Life of Compassion and a Lasting Legacy


Frederic Ozanam was born in Milan, Italy, in 1813, and was a man of deep faith and unwavering compassion. Known as the founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, his beliefs created the foundation for how our organization operates today - dedicated to serving neighbors who need it most.

Ozanam was a great student and excelled in his studies, particularly in literature and law. Despite his academic excellence, Ozanam's faith always remained a central part of his life, influencing him to focus on the path of serving the less fortunate.

In 1833, while still attending school, Ozanam and a group of friends formed the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as a way to response to the increase in poverty throughout Paris. The purpose was to provide assistance to neighbors in need, through person-to-person relationships with the people in their community.

Frederic Ozanam's legacy extends far beyond the founding of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – as teachings continue to inspire many around the world.

In 1997, Frederic Ozanam was declared "Blessed" by the Catholic Church for his life's work and his dedication to the poor. His life proves that one person’s dedication can change the lives of many.

Today, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul operates in over 150 countries, serving millions of neighbors through the mission work of Vincentians and generous donors.

Our work as an organization continues to be a testament to Frederic Ozanam's vision and his commitment to helping neighbors in need through love, service, and compassion.