The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international lay organization, founded in Paris in 1833 by Frédéric Ozanam and his friends. A Catholic Society, it is open to all those who desire to live their faith in love and service of their neighbour and to help all who are in need. It figures prominently among those apostolic institutions which owe their beginnings to the free decisions of lay people. There are no membership fees. It is open to all people who wish to live the Gospel and follow Jesus by loving and serving the poor. If you are called to be a Vincentian, you seek prayer, a desire to know Jesus, the Scriptures and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the Preferential Option for the Poor. A Vincentian endeavours to read Papal documents and writings to be well informed. The ultimate goal is to bring Christ to the poor, to love and serve the poor, to befriend the poor under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul; it draws its inspiration from his thoughts and his works. Members strive, in a spirit of justice, charity, mutual help, and solidarity with the poor, and by personal commitment, to ease the hardships of those who suffer.