210 years ago, on January 28th, 1811, Pierre-Auguste Le Taillandier, one of the seven friends who founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, was born in Rouen (France).
He had only a younger brother, Charles. His father belonged to a family of merchants. His mother was of a noble family background.
He and his family moved to Paris and there he pursued his legal studies. There he met Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam at the “Conferences of History”, and advocated some charitable work instead of endless discussions about history, literature and philosophy.
Ozanam fondly described him as “a very amiable young man who is well informed and has sound common sense”. “The only flaw I have to find with him is that he is not from Lyon”.
In 1833, he was actively involved in the first Charity Conference (Society of St Vincent de Paul), in addition to giving religious instruction to apprentices when they were home visiting or making visits to prisoners. In 1834, Le Taillandier adamantly opposed the division of the first Conference, which already had many members, into separate conferences, since he thought it could be the end of the emerging Society. He was eventually convinced by the other founders.
Having left Paris in 1837 to go first to Le Mans and then his home city of Rouen, Le Taillandier was the first of the young founders to marry. He wed Marie Baudry on August 7th, 1838. They bore four children, three daughters and one son.
In Rouen, he became regional director at an insurance Company and at a hospital. In 1841, he founded St. Godard Conference and became its president. He was very popular among his conference brethren and his fellow citizens, and he was highly regarded.
He devoted his final days to his family, to his children’s upbringing, to his friends, to his Conference and to his garden. Pierre-Auguste Le Taillandier died in Rouen on March 23rd, 1886, aged 75.
The International Themed Year Project is a chance for the Council General International to keep on exploring the biography and the legacy of all the founders, who founded the Society inspired by the divine Holy Spirit. In 2022, it will be, God willing, Le Taillandier Themed Year.