The Congregation of the Mission of Saint Vincent de Paul, CM.
The Congregation of the Mission is officially known as Congregatio Missionis (CM). They are also called “Lazarists” as they originated at the Priory of Saint Lazare in Paris. They are also recognised as “Vincentians” in English-speaking countries, as “Paules” in Spain and as “vicentinos” in Latin America. The Congregation’s motto is “Evangelizare pauperibus misit me”, “I have been sent to bring good news to the poor”.
Vincent de Paul worked as chaplain and tutor to the Gondi family. They appointed him parish priest of Châtillon-les-Dombes. At the beginning of January 1617, they asked Vincent to hear the confession of a dying man who was considered holy; Vincent perceived he was no saint, but yet had not dared to receive the sacrament through shame. It was then he discovered how the country people lived without pastoral care, and in spiritual ignorance.
On 25 January 1617, feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul and a key date for the foundation of the Congregation, he gave the “first sermon of the mission” in Folleville. The sermon would be just the beginning, for a few years later, on 17 April 1625, the Congregation was founded, as Vincent de Paul signed an agreement with the lords of Gondi to preach the mission in their lands.
Today, it has 3100 members in 86 countries.