The more we know about the life, legacy and virtues of the seven founders of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, the more we can tune into the early spirit which moved these young people to create a work of such providential value for humanity, inspired by the Holy Spirit, with the double purpose of the salvation of its own members, and charity towards those who are suffering.
With this in mind, the present International Board has been working to make the seven founders better known and loved every day. The Board has therefore implemented a set of initiatives such as the THEMED YEARS, the LITERARY COMPETITION, the FILM FESTIVAL, the THEMED STAMPS, INDIVIDUAL LOGOS and the Song competition, “The Seven Founders”.
In 2019, the Council General International (CGI) of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul celebrated 180 years of its existence. At the Annual Assembly, held in Oporto, Portugal, “THE SEVEN FOUNDERS” song was officially launched, in its Portuguese version.
The words and music were composed by the SSVP member Paulo César Felizardo da Silva, from Brazil. The Spanish version, promoted by the National Council of Spain, was also launched then. The Spanish lyric was written by Juan Tirado, of SSVP Spain.
The words of this song praise the main characteristics of those “seven friends from Paris, brave young men” who founded and brought to life the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
At our request, the International Youth Committee is officially launching the CULTURAL COMPETITION FOR “THE 7 FOUNDERS” SONG, for the version in English, French and Italian. The deadline to participate in the competition is 8 December.
With this Cultural competition, the Council General hopes to arouse even more interest in the importance of the COLLEGIATE FOUNDATION, which marked the creation of our beloved Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and also to praise the Vincentian charism of the seven founders of the SSVP (Antoine-Frédéric OZANAM, Auguste LE TAILLANDIER, Jules DEVAUX, Paul LAMACHE, François LALLIER, Félix CLAVÉ and Emmanuel BAILLY DE SURCY).
They were the forerunners of what is today an organisation present in over 150 countries, with some 800,000 members who help around 30 million people living in poverty and social vulnerability. Let us hope that many Vincentians take part in this competition!
Renato Lima de Oliveira
16th President General