The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, founded in Paris in 1833 by Blessed Frederic Ozanam, is an association of Christian lay persons. The Society spread rapidly through France to Europe, and then to the entire world. In Hong Kong, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Central Council of Hong Kong (the Society) was founded by Rev. Gaetano Favini on 12 July 1863.


Its members aspire towards an evangelical life and aim at attaining and practising virtues of charity, amongst which are self-denial of Christian prudence, the active love of our neighbours, zeal for the salvation of souls, meekness in heart and word, and above all, the spirit of brotherly love.


Its chief work is to visit the poor, irrespective of race and creed, in their homes to endeavour to help their social and religious lives, the education of poor children and medical treatment for the sick, and to encourage them to exert themselves to be again on their feet. By tender interest and manner, the visiting members may well give them the new hope and comfort which are so badly needed by many in time of adversity.


Other work of charity which express themselves through frequent person-to-person contacts with those who are suffering morally or materially are also undertaken.


Besides members whose work have been described, the Vincentian family includes the auxiliaries, benefactors and to whom the Society brings moral or material support in the spirit of a true community of charity.


The Society operates with the approval of the Holy See and the blessing of the Hierarchy. It is richly endowed with indulgences, which may be gained by members on the day of his or her admission or participation in a Festival Meeting, after fulfilling certain conditions.