Collège des Bons Enfants
Vincent de Paul at the Bons Enfants
When the Congregation of the Mission was officially formed in 1625 at the insistence of Mme de Gondi (see Gondi Family), the small community of confreres took up residence in the Collège des Bons Enfants in Paris at what is now the corner of Rue des Écoles and Rue du Cardinal Lemoine in Paris (5th Arrondissement). It was Vincent de Paul's home from 1625 to 1632, when he moved to the Priory of Saint Lazare.
From 1632 to the Revolution
Vincent de Paul remained at St Lazare till his death in 1660. From 1632 to 1707 the Collège des Bons Enfants was an annex of Saint Lazare as a Séminaire (Novitiate), and Retreat House. From 1707 to 1792 it was the diocesan Seminary of Saint Firmin, conducted by the Congregation of the Mission.
On September 3, 1792, during the French Revolution, the Collège was the location of the massacre of Louis Joseph François CM, John Henry Gruyer CM, and around 70 other residents of the building. The property was confiscated by the State during the French Revolution and not returned to the Congregation of the Mission. Little of the original building remains.
Visiting the Location of the Collège des Bons Enfants
The location of the Collège des Bons Enfants can easily be reached on the Paris Metro from either Station Cardinal Lemoine (Metro Line 10) or Station Jussieu (Metro Lines 7,10)