St Vincent de Paul was born in the south of France in 1581. He was only twenty when he was ordained a priest. Shortly afterwards he was captured by pirates while on a sea voyage and sold as a slave. After managing to return to France he was placed in charge of a very poor parish. These experiences helped him to realise the great suffering experienced by many underprivileged people. Moved with compassion he decided to devote his life to caring for the poor, the sick, the destitute and prisoners. His personal example, dedication and holiness made a deep impression not only on the poor people he helped but also on many wealthy people who often joined Vincent in his work and provided him with gifts for the poor. St Vincent de Paul died on September 27, 1660. His great love and concern for the underprivileged lives on today in the Vincentian Fathers, whom he founded in 1625, in the Daughters of Charity, whom he founded with St. Louise de Marillac in 1633, and in lay organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul Society.