Skip to main content

About the Maison Mère

As the Vincentian Family grows throughout the world, Paris remains its historic center. Our Motherhouse, our Maison Mère is uniquely positioned to serve as the place where the Family explores, designs and commits itself to more cooperatively weaving a web of charity and justice so that people living in poverty and feeling its effects most acutely come to live fully their God-given dignity.

Here at the Maison Mère, we welcome missionary organizations, pilgrims, retreatants, and anyone who wants to study Saint Vincent de Paul and his legacy. We have comfortable guest rooms, offer well-prepared meals, technological facilities and flexible meeting rooms. Here at the Maison Mère, we help people of faith grow in holiness and in their capacity to serve,  to fulfill their mission. St. Vincent would have it no other way.

A brief history of

the Maison Mère

  • 1632-1792: Saint-Lazare Priory serves as the first real home for the Congregation.
  • 1792: Saint-Lazare is confiscated during the French Revolution.
  • 1817: The government provides 95 Rue de Sèvres as the new home for the Congregation.
  • 1826: The construction of the St. Vincent de Paul chapel begins.
  • 1827: The Archbishop of Paris consecrates the Chapel.
  • 1830: The relics of St. Vincent de Paul are enshrined in the new Chapel.
  • 1855-1860: The Chapel of St. Vincent is enlarged.
  • 2006: French state transfers ownership of the Maison Mère to the Congregation of the Mission.
  • 2019: Planning of the renovation of the Maison Mère begins.
  • 2021: Renovation of the Maison Mère starts.

About the Congregation of the Mission

On January 25th, 1617, Vincent de Paul preached the first mission, which he noted as the beginning of the Congregation of the Mission. More than four hundred years later, Vincentian priests and brothers continued what he started in an effort to fulfill God’s call and St. Vincent’s vision. 

The Congregation of the Mission is called to an apostolic way of life, serving as missionary disciples sent with joy into the world. 

As members of the Church and the Congregation, Vincentians share with all the baptized God’s call to be sent out on mission and serve as sons of St. Vincent de Paul proclaiming the Reign of God to the poor, serving them and experiencing Christ in them.

With the whole Church, Vincentians are called to evangelize by imitating in the closest possible way the missionary Christ and by preaching and building up faith communities especially among the poor. Vincentians work to form the clergy and the laity to participate in the evangelization of the poor. Vincentians directly serve the poor and work to identify and eradicate the root causes of poverty. 

To fulfill their mission, Vincentians embrace the call to ongoing renewal through lifelong formation, study, and prayer, always attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. 

The preaching of popular missions, a primitive work of the Congregation, remains a hallmark of Vincentian ministry as it was so dear to the heart of Saint Vincent.

The motto of the Congregation is: 

“Evangelizare pauperibus misit me” 

(He has sent me to proclaim the Good News to the poor)

Luke 4:18


About St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul was born in Pouy, France on April 24, 1581, and was ordained a priest on September 23, 1600. Vincent devoted himself entirely to the alleviation of suffering of the poor. To that cause, he established the Confraternities of Charity, later known as the Ladies of Charity, in 1617. In 1625, he founded the Congregation of the Mission, his community of priests and brothers. With Louise de Marillac, he cofounded the Daughters of Charity in 1633. Vincent died in Paris on September 27, 1660 and was canonized in 1737. Pope Leo XIII declared him patron saint of all works of charity.