The Chapel of Saint Vincent de Paul (95 rue de Sèvres) is the church of the Vincentians, brothers and priests of the Congregation of the Mission. It dates from 1827. The Congregation moved here after having been driven out from their previous installations by the Revolution.
Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) is venerated as a saint by the Catholic and the Anglican Churches. His younger years included that he was taken captive by Turkish pirates and spent two years in Tunis in slavery, escaped, later worked as chaplain to Marguerite de Valois (La Reine Margot)… In 1625 he founded the Congregation of the Mission, better known as Vincentians or Lazarists (related to the “Saint Lazare Enclosure” in Paris where it all started, where Vincent lived the last 30 years of his life and where the congregation remained until, as said above, driven out by the Revolution). The Lazarists are today present in some 80 countries. Vincent was, and still is, a “popular” saint, renowned for compassion, humility and generosity. Later, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was created, dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing direct practical assistance to anyone in need, today present in some 130 countries and with about a million members, including non-Catholics. In Paris, many churches are related to Vincent’s activities, including the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul (see previous post), close to where the “Saint Lazare Enclosure” was situated.
A richly adorned silver shrine contains the body of Saint Vincent de Paul (created by J-P-C Odiot , previously “jeweler” of the Napoleon’s court). On the skeleton, face and hands have been redesigned and Vincent seems to rest quietly.
Vincent was also together with Sainte Louise de Marillac the co-founder of the Daughters of Charity. Their mother house is located very close (140 rue du Bac), (also known for their "Miraculous Medal") where you can find her remains as well as the heart of Vincent.
Louis Braille (1809-52), inventor of the Braille writing system (himself blind by accident since the age of three), was also an excellent organist. He was the organist of this church the last seven years of his life.