5 Must-Read Books for Every St. Vincent de Paul Society Member

By: Stephanie Mojal

Date Published: April 22, 2020

Vincent de Paul was a French Catholic priest born on April 24, 1581, and died on September 27, 1660. He was committed to helping the poor in society.

The Anglican Communion and Catholic Church venerated Vincent de Paul as a saint. Canonized in 1737, Vincent was well-known for his humility, compassion, and generosity. This explains why he served the poor whole-heartedly.

St. Vincent de Paul is touted for founding the Saint Vincent de Paul Daughters of Charity and the Mission Congregation. Blessed Frederick Ozanam started a charity that was named after him.

He was born to peasant farmers Bertrande de Moras de Paul (mother) and Jean (father) in Gascony and Guyenne Province, the French Kingdom. He was raised in a village known as Pouy.

The family is believed to have been named after a nearby stream that was dubbed the “Paul.” To show that he was of noble birth, Vincent often wrote his name as Depaul.

St. Vincent de Paul had two sisters, Marie-Claudine and Marie, and three brothers, Bernard, Jean, and Gayon. He was the third child in the family. He herded livestock for his family during childhood and had prowess in writing and reading at an early age.

The saint was sent to a seminary at the age of 15; he sold his family’s oxen to pay for the service. Vincent joined Dax College in France, adjoining the Friars Minor monastery. He began to study theology at the University of Toulouse in 1597.                     

Whether you’ve heard about St. Vincent de Paul all your life or just looking to explore his life, you’ll be lost for choice due to the variety out there. Here’re top books to read:

Top 5 Books Recommended for Members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society

Here’re five books recommended for you:

  1. St. Vincent de Paul: Health and Social Service Philosophy

The book, published in 1975, was authored by Philip Dion. It has 102 pages on the saint’s social service and health philosophy.

Whether you’re a theology or social studies student, you’ll love to learn about St. Vincent de Paul’s philosophy. Written many decades ago, this is a useful book for those who’d like to learn about serving the poor.

  1. Life of St. Vincent de Paul

Frances Alice Forbes narrates the life of St. Vincent de Paul in a short and exciting book. The saint believed that God is merciful, and thus we should do the same. He extended mercy towards the needy around him.

It could be your church is named after this saint, or you just want to learn more about another Catholic saint. The book is a quick and interesting read for all Catholics.

You’ll learn to be a better person through humility, giving, and loving others. Although the saint lived several decades ago, his life is a perfect example for many today.

St. Vincent de Paul ministered to the poor, abandoned children and orphans, convicts, the homeless, and the rejected. The persons were abandoned, rejected, and persecuted, but the saint saw God in them. He loved such a company and saw it as a privilege.

This book teaches true wisdom and inspires readers to a better life. After all, isn’t love the greatest of all?

  1. The Best Pellet Recipe Books

Members of the St. Vincent de Paul society can come together to celebrate the saint over grilled food. Just as the members seek to follow in the footsteps of the saint, it’s only common sense to adopt green techniques in all endeavors.

For instance, we are planning a meeting or get-together for society members. Opt for green cooking techniques and methods to protect the environment. Propane-powered wood pellet grills and smokers would come in handy.

Smokers and grill cookbooks on wood pellets provide all the information the society would need to prepare grilled food naturally. The cookbooks feature techniques, tips, comprehensive recipes, and tricks of using pellet grills and/or smokers to develop grill-master skills.

Eating healthy is also key to living a good life.

  1. Letters of St. Vincent de Paul

The letters were written by St. Vincent himself. They feature all his activities and life. They cover his captivity in Tunis and subsequent escape.

The saint was peculiarly obsequious and polite with special graces and natural instincts. Cardinal de Berulle and St. Francis of Sales were his role models.

Read the letters to learn about the saint on his personal account.

  1. Vincent de Paul: Saint of Charity

Margaret Anne Hubbard is the author of this kid-friendly book on St. Vincent de Paul. Targeting kids age 9 to 15, the book narrates the French saint’s inspirational and exciting ordeal. He was the saint of charity.

The book covers his life as a shepherd boy during his childhood and youth, including slavery in North Africa, before escaping to France. He served abandoned children, the poor, the Jansenist’s clashes, and the Daughters Charity establishment.

It also covers court political adventures and the founding of the Vincentian Order. The illustrated book is bound to inspire your kids to be kind-hearted and of service to the poor and needy.


Whether you’re a catholic or not, you’ll find these comprehensive yet brief books interesting and resourceful.

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