Date of publication: 03/02/2020

2020, the International Themed Year of Félix Clavé

Council General International

The Council General International is pleased to announce that 2020 will be the International Themed Year of Félix Clave, one of the seven founding friends who, in 1833, founded our beloved Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.

On February 8th, 2020, the Council General International will inaugurate the ‘Themed Year of Clavé’ along with the launching of the fourth edition of the International Literary Contest ‘The First Conference – Félix Clavé’.

Pierre-Emmanuel-Felix Clavé was born in southern France on July 8, 1811. He also worked in Algeria and Mexico. He was a highly educated, studious man who spoke several languages and attended social events where French celebrities and authorities met. In addition to founding the SSVP with his friends, Clavé was also the founder of a Vincentian Conference at St. Philippe du Roule (his neighbourhood in Paris).

Clavé wrote many articles and publications, most notably the book The Extraordinary History of Pope IX (1848). Clavé married Marie-Louise Sorg on February 11, 1847 at the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (Paris, France). The couple had no offspring.

Clavé’s reputation and personal life were tarnished in the wake of ‘Madame Lafarge Case’. However, there was no conclusive evidence to accuse him. He died at 42 in the town of Pau on November 9, 1853.

“Felix Clavé was an honourable person and his faith was never undermined, despite all the wounds and slanders against him. He will be always recalled in the SSVP’s history as one of our beloved founders, without whom the Society would not have been the same. Today’s Vincentians will be impressed with Félix Clavé’s biography, since he endured great hardship and had to bear many crosses. He was a noble man, who surrendered his will to God in difficult times.”, remarked our President General, the fellow member Renato Lima.

For further details on Clavé, read the recently published President General’s Circular Letter. The ‘Themed Year of Clavé’ will conclude on December 8, 2020. Next September, the Council General’s Board will visit his tomb in Pau (France).