On 8th February 2021, the International General Council will open the INTERNATIONAL THEMATIC YEAR dedicated to the co-founder JULES DEVAUX. On the same date, the fifth edition of the International Literary Contest “The First Conference – Jules Devaux” will be launched.
Prizes will be awarded to essays or writings presenting new or little-known aspects of Devaux’s personal, professional, Vincentian and family life, as well as to those highlighting his contribution to the creation of the first Conference and the expansion of SSVP around the world.
The current Board of the International General Council remains focused on the important role that the seven founders played in the history of the SSVP, not just on the life of Blessed Antoine Frederic Ozanam, our greatest example and whose process of canonization is very advanced, but also on the contribution that the other founders made to the Church, to the poor and to humanity.
The General Council suggests that on 8 December 2021, closing date of the “International Thematic Year of Jules Devaux”, a Holy Mass of Thanksgiving be said in all the parishes of the world for the memory of the founder Devaux. In addition, on October 27, 2021, the date of our co-founder’s death, it would be advisable for the Conferences to commemorate his figure by reading texts about him as a spiritual reading.
Jules-François-Louis Devaux (1811–1880) is one of the seven founders of our beloved SSVP. He was born in Colombiéres, France. The son of a doctor, at the age of 20 he went to Paris to study medicine at the Sorbonne. There he first met Antoine Frederic Ozanam and the other founders and participated in the History Conferences. He later married and had two children.
Elected to be the first treasurer of the Conference, he would also be the first treasurer of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (of the General Council). As an anecdote, to say that Devaux used sometimes his hat as collection box during the meetings and that it was he who put the group in touch with Sister Rosalie Rendu (D.C), who immediately approved their intentions and showed them the way to help the poorest.
There is little information about our dear Devaux and, in order to find out more about his figure, the General Council has launched these two initiatives: the Thematic Year and the Literary Contest.
Devaux died at the age of 69 in the French capital. God willing, the Board of the General Council will visit Devaux’s tomb as soon as the pandemic allows it.