Born in France, St. Vincent de Paul was a priest known for his compassion, humility and generosity. At 24, he was kidnapped by pirates and spent two years in Africa as a slave. Though his faith was constantly challenged, Vincent stayed strong and eventually escaped. Back home in France, under Vincent’s leadership, people began responding to the intensifying poverty of the 17th century. Since then, the Vincentian family has grown to include diverse groups of women and men, laity and religious.