In his Conferences to the Daughters of Charity, Saint Vincent explained September 29, 1655, that he and Saint Louise cofounded the Confraternity of the Charity of the Servants of the Sick Poor of the Parishes (whose members the people of Paris called Daughters of Charity) “to honor the great charity of Our Lord Jesus Christ” through service to persons who were sick and poor (Leonard, 3:98).
The Company of the Daughters of Charity, founded November 29, 1633, developed from the parish-based Confraternities of Charity, and became the first successful institute of non-cloistered religious women to serve in the active apostolate in France.
As such, the Common Rules of the Daughters of Charity became a prototype. The rule developed by Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul was first explained to the sisters July 31, 1634, and refined over time on the basis of the lived experience of the sisters who sought to live a lifestyle for mission characterized by humility, simplicity, and charity. According to Saint Louise, “If humility, simplicity, and charity which gives support are well-established among you, your little Company will be composed of as many saints as there are persons in it” (Sullivan, p. 532).