What is SSVP?


Founded in 1833 by a group of young laymen, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a lay Catholic organization of women and men, who wished to put their faith into action. From the start, the Society has been under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul, a great saint, well-known for his works of charity.

The members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul maintain the Vincentian spirit. Their vocation rests on two basic principles: continuing prayers (deepening their faith) and the meeting with Christ through the poor. These principles lead them to serve the very poorest with a deep respect, no matter where they come from, or what they believe, thus developing long-term and personal relationships.

Historically, the core work of the SSVP is the home visit: from the very beginnings of the Society, Blessed Frederic Ozanam (the leading co-founder) and his companions, went to the poor, visiting them at home in the deprived districts of Paris. This continues today, as the volunteers go to seek people in need, wherever they live: in their homes, on the streets, in shelters, in hospitals or in prisons, each in his own area. Funded by donations, it also provides emergency aid and rehabilitation for victims of natural or humanitarian disasters, and finances development projects.

The International General Council (IGC) oversees an International Confederation of countries who continue the work of our French founder, the Blessed Frederic Ozanam. Each country has one or more National Councils (depending on its demographic spread), formed by Conferences that are the basic units of the Society.

Conferences, normally linked to a Catholic parish, work independently, in collaboration with the Council that brings together several local, regional or national Conferences in a structure that varies from country to country. Conference members meet regularly, usually weekly but at least fortnightly, to pray, organize and discuss their work on behalf of the poor in their local community.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and FAMVIN

The Vincentian Family (FamVin) was founded in 1995 that gathered Associations which shared the same charism of Saint Vincent de Paul: the Daughters of Charity, The Association International of Charity (AIC), the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) and the Congregation of the Mission. Later on, JMV (Juventudes Mariales Vicentinas), MISEVI (Misioneros Seglares Vicentinos), and AMM (Association of Miraculous Medal) joined the first group.

In 2004, an Executive Committee was created in order to work on an annual basis and to present (each 2 years) their proposal and outcomes to the plenary that forms the FamVin, and more associations joined the Vincentian Family.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the United Nations

The Society is an accredited UN NGO at ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) since 2012, and has presence in New York, Geneva and UNESCO in Paris.

Our representatives attend appropriate meetings and liaise and work closely with the UN representatives of the Vincentian Family comprising of the Congregation of the Mission, Daughters of Charity, Association of International Charity and SSVP in a spirit of solidarity and Collaboration. We have presence on the Human Rights Council and preparation of declarations, active participation in several working groups: Right to Development, Extreme Poverty, and International Solidarity.

For more information about the International Society and its work please visit


The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was founded in Beirut Lebanon in 1860. It exercises its activities legally under the declaration registered at ministry of interior, number 545 dated July 19, 1923.
Our main objective is to provide assistance to the poorer and supply them with their most urgent needs.

Gathered in 44 Conferences (2016), volunteers and members (men, women and youth) share their time and energy to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people all around Lebanon.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Lebanon works in varied fields: Spiritual, Social, Medical, Educational, Recreational and Development.

"Ever since, it has been cited as an example of dedication and transparency and renowned by the love it spreads around;
this is the core of the Vincentian mission."

Frederic Ozanam Center, Burj Hamoud, facing the Municipal stadium. Metn. PO Box 16-6449
Tel / Fax: +961 1 500 554 / +961 1 500 664

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