The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization that provides assistance for those in need and living in poverty. Founded in 1833 by a group of young laymen, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a lay Catholic organization of women and men, who wished to put their faith into action. From the start, the Society has been under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul, a great saint, well-known for his works of charity. The members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul maintain the Vincentian spirit. Their vocation rests on two basic principles: continuing prayers (deepening their faith) and the meeting with Christ through the poor. These principles lead them to serve the very poorest with a deep respect, no matter where they come from, or what they believe, thus developing long-term and personal relationships.