In 1633 Vincent de Paul, a humble French priest, and Louise de Marillac, a widow, established the Company of the Daughters of Charity as a group of women dedicated to serving the "poorest of the poor." Prayer and community life were essential elements of their vocation of service.
Almost two centuries later, Elizabeth Ann Seton, the American foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, adapted the rule of the French Daughters of Charity for her Emmitsburg, Maryland community. In 1850, the Emmitsburg community united with the international community based in Paris.
Today, the Daughters of Charity are an international community of over 19,000 Catholic women ministering all over the world. The Daughters of Charity still serve the "poorest of the poor." Their ministry touches those in need through education, health care, social and pastoral services.