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Images and Icons

Vincentiana - Historical Maps

These maps are a part of the Vincentiana Collection at DePaul University Special Collections and Archives. They document the mission, expansion, history and travels of the Vincentians.

St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) founded the Congregation of the Mission in 1625 in France, a society of priests and brothers dedicated to preaching the gospel. The Company of the Daughters of Charity was founded in 1633 by St. Vincent and St. Louise de Marillac (1591-1660) to minister to the sick and poor. In 1809, St. Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821) founded the Community of the Sisters of Charity in the United States which was dedicated to teaching and nursing.

Vincentian Postcards

These postcards are a part of the Vincentiana Collection at DePaul University Special Collections and Archives. This pictorial history documents the spirituality and mission of the Vincentians.

Spanning 200 years, these postcards reflect the heritage of the religious orders, the growth of social institutions, advancements in technology and changes in urban environments.

The images in this collection include institutions such as hospitals, churches and seminaries. Some highlights of the collection are French postcards relevant to St. Vincent's life, the residence of Estelle Doheny who was a patron of the Vincentians, and posed scenes of models acting out the work of Daughters of Charity in France.

The original postcards were scanned on an Hewlett-Packard 7490c scanner. Resulting 600 dpi raw TIFF files were retained for archive copies and were resized to 300 dpi JPEG files. Some manipulation of the JPEG files was done to present the clearest possible digital image. Resulting access files were approximately 640 x 480 pixels and thumbnails were 144 x 96 pixels. The image files were imported into the CONTENTdm digital media management software and uploaded to the library's Web server.

The information for the Vincentian Postcard Collection was researched and prepared by the DePaul University Libraries Archives and Cataloging staff. Dublin Core was used as the metadata scheme. The site is regularly updated.

Vincentian Foundational Texts

The texts in this collection, all part of DePaul University’s Vincentian Studies Collection, are to be those considered the most fundamental and primary to the Vincentian Family.

This collection will eventually include the complete extant writings of the Congregation of the Mission’s founder, St. Vincent de Paul; those of the co-founder of the Daughters of Charity, St. Louise de Marillac; and those of the founder of the Sisters of Charity, St. Elizabeth Seton. Also included will be original manuscript letters of St. Vincent de Paul, held by DePaul University’s Special Collections and Archives, as well as a large collection held by the Turin Province of the Congregation of the Mission. Finally, rare and important secondary texts will also be included here, such as biographies of the founders, early rulebooks, and ecclesiastical documents.

St. Vincent's Handwritten Letters

DePaul University’s collection of the handwritten letters of St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) represents the largest of the saint’s extant holographic documents outside of Europe, and is the cornerstone of DePaul’s Vincentian Studies Collection, a multidisciplinary collection of resources pertaining to the study of St. Vincent and the Vincentian Family. For more information on the broader collection, see the Vincentian Research Guide.

These letters range in date from 1641 to 1660, a fertile period during Vincent’s life during which his influence was at its height. By 1640, he was one of the leading figures in the French Counter-Reformation, and had founded the Ladies of Charity (1617), the Congregation of the Mission (1625), and the Daughters of Charity (1633). In his final two decades, Vincent would be appointed to the royal Council of Conscience, grapple with the heresy of Jansenism, and spread his religious message of charity through Europe, into North Africa, to as far away as Madagascar. By his death on September 27, 1660, he was the administrator of a vast network of religious and charitable endeavors, and one of the most well-known and revered figures in France.

To view any of these letters, simply click on the timeline date, or letter itself. In addition, each marker on the European map represents the location of a letter, and clicking on a marker will pull up an individual letter.

Each letter includes a transcription and translation of the respective text. The transcriptions are taken from Vincent de Paul: Correspondence, Entretiens, Documents (Librairie Lecoffre, 1920-1925), edited by Pierre Coste, C.M., with the exception of the 1641 letter to Sylvestre Crusy de Marcillac, which was transcribed by John E. Rybolt, C.M. The translations are taken from Vincent de Paul: Correspondence, Conferences, Documents (New City Press, 1985-2010), by the Vincent Translation Project. A link to the original transcription or translation is available in the record of each letter, if available.

Vincentian Holy Cards

This collection of devotional cards featuring St. Vincent de Paul is part of the Vincentian Studies Collection at DePaul University Libraries Special Collections. These cards span several centuries and many languages, and show the religious iconography surrounding St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and the various religious and lay orders founded by them.

The majority of the materials collected here are holy cards, which, in the Catholic tradition, are small, religious pictures roughly the size of a playing card. The reverse sometimes contains a prayer or other devotional text. These cards, which depict a Catholic saint or religious scene, are often blessed by priests for the use by the faithful. The creation, circulation, and use of these cards is an important part of the material culture of Roman Catholics. Other collectable devotional cards, including early examples of religious trading and collectable cards, are also featured in this collection.


Vincent de Paul Image Archive

The Vincent de Paul Image Archive is an online image collection offering more than 13,500 images of Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Vincentian Places and Vincentian Persons.