Being merciful is a divine gift from God. All members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paulhave been given this gift which enables the Vincentians to be engaged in doing charitable work of alleviating human suffering among those who are in need. It is God’s will that each individual should share his or her life with others, especially with those who are disadvantaged, so that the love of God may be revealed and shared with others in various communities. It should be remembered that for the sacrifices and suffering the Vincentiansencounter on behalf of the less privileged people, God has promised mercy on the last day to those who are merciful.
The Rule comprises of three sections. Part One reminds us of the main purpose of the Society, the relief of the poor and needy and the sanctification of our members’ souls. Part Two sets out the International Statutes by which the Society is governed. Part Three contains the specifically Zambian statutes in terms of which we are guided in the conduct of the Society’s work. All three together comprise the “The Rule.” Short stories about our Patron Saint Vincent de Paul and founder member Frederic Ozanam, and the Origin of the Society in Paris in 1833 have been included to give historical background to the Rule.
It is in the interest of all members to read and sometimes study the Rule to acquaint themselves with the structure and guidelines that pertain to the Society, internationally and locally. This will help with the growth and development of the Society and its members as one big family. In this vein we will see and understand that our work of our brothers andsisters in our own small communities, and those throughout the world. We all have one motivation and one aim, that is to serve our God in his poor.
With regards to this then, it is my hope that each member of our Society will acquire apersonal copy of the Rule, to read and study closely, and thus be able to refer to it whenneed arises. Conference Presidents are so much encouraged to fit into their programme ofSpiritual Reading some articles from the Rule. This could be done over a period of time. Letus not bluff ourselves that we can be loyal members to the Society without knowing its rulesand its spirit. Let us continue to be servants of the poor, and implement the new Ruleenthusiastically so that our beloved Society can grow from strength to strength. It is indeed an honour and privilege for me to be President at this great time and write this preface.
National President (2002- 2008)
First and foremost allow me to say thank you to God Almighty for bringing us thus far. Yes differences have been there but despite those flashes of differences we have remained intact just like when we were elected into office on Saturday, 29th July, 2017 and congratulations to you all for the mature way of resolving our differences.
National President (2017-2022)
Download the President's Annual Report 2018 here.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was founded by a group of seven Catholic laymen, who initially named the society The Conference of Charity. Six of the seven men were young students at the Sorbonne University, with a brilliant young lawyer Antoine Frederic Ozanam, who was just 20 years old, and Joseph Emmanuel Bailly being the leaders of the conference. The other members include Francois Lailier, Augustus Le Tallandier, Paul Lamache, Felix Clave, and Julius Devaux (Treasurer).The seven men came together on a Tuesday, 23 April 1833, at 18 Rue de Petit-Bourbon (now 38 Rue de Saint Sulpice, Paris, France). With the objective of serving the Parisian poor in mind, they formulated plans to provide assistance to the homes of the poor people around the area.The team worked closely with another charitable organisation, The Daughters of Charity, in planning the distribution of help to the poor. With influence from Sister Rosalie Rendu (1786-1856), a nun from The Daughters of Charity, the newly-formed Conference of Charity took St Vincent de Paul as their patron saint, thus changing the name of the conference to The Society of St Vincent de Paul. The decision was made because the idea of helping the poor was in line with the works of Saint Vincent de Paul, who dedicated his life to serve the poor.By the end of the first year, the society had increased in numbers to the point where it became necessary for the society to be divided into several smaller groups. Thus, the Rule of The Conference was drafted, introducing the concept of “Council General” and “Conference”. The first President-general was Joseph Emanuel Bailly, who was in charge from 1833 to 1844.The Holy See approved of the aims and methods of The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and enriched it with its precious approval at the end of 1845.The society quickly grew in numbers, not only in France, but also throughout the world. The society reached Italy (1842); England (1844); Belgium, Scotland, and United States (1845), Germany, Holland, Greece, Turkey and Mexico (1846); Canada and Switzerland (1847); Austria and Spain (1850). The motivating factors that led to the rapid growth can be attributed to firstly the desire to see Christ in the poor and secondly the need to visit the less fortunate in their homes on a person-to-person basis, before any help could be given.Between 1860 and 1870, the Council General was dissolved by force of law because the French government feared that this widely rooted society would become possible opposition. However, after 1870, the conferences resumed their activities and gradually continued with their work in serving the poor.By 1933, a century after it was started, The Society of St Vincent de Paul had representations in more than 33 countries including Zambia. In 2008, the society had grown to include more than 45,000 conferences with more than 700,000 active members, existing in 143 countries worldwide. The Society of St Vincent de Paul of Singapore is a part of the global Vincentian family.
In Zambia, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was first established in 1950 in Fort Rosemary (Mansa) by a French Priest. During the pre independence time Zambia was going through a lot of challenges, which included; economical, Social, Political, and Cultural challenges among others. The road infrastructure and communication was in very poor state, however this did not destruct the mission by the Missionaries to establish the Society in Zambia. After establishing the first conference in Mansa, in 1951 the second establishment was recorded in the Northern part of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Mbala in particular. Lusaka was the third establishment of the Society in Zambia and it was established in 1955, then Fort Jameson (Chipata) in 1963 and during the post independence the Society continued to grow with Mongu being established in1966.
Copperbelt Province joined the frenzy and the Society was established in Ndola and Kitwe in 1976 and Chilubi Island in the Northern Province was equally established
To Know more Download SSVP Zambia and Its Works.
|17th February 1951||First Zambian Conference formed. St. Francis, Mansa|
|2nd Sunday of July||Remembrance of the dead Zambian Vincentians.|
|9th September||Feast of Blessed Frederic Ozanam|
|27th September||Feast of St. Vincent de Paul|
|8th December||Feast of the Immaculate Conception|
|2022||11- 14th August||AGM|