The Maison-Mère in the Rue de Sèvres, Paris
The first home of the Congregation of the Mission was the Collège des Bons Enfants in Paris. When Vincent de Paul and his confreres moved to the Priory of Saint Lazare (in the area near the present Gare du Nord in Paris), the Priory became the Maison-Mère or Mother House of the Congregation. St Lazare was sacked at the time of the French Revolution, and eventually the property was lost to the Vincentians. In 1817, in reparation for the loss of St Lazare, the Congregation of the Mission was given the former Hôtel de Lorges at 95 Rue de Sèvres, Paris (6th Arrondissement). This then became the Maison-Mère of the Congregation. When the International Administration of the Congregation moved to Rome, the House in the Rue de Sèvres continued to be known as the Maison-Mère of the Congregation of the Mission.
The Body of Vincent de Paul
The Body of St Vincent de Paul lies in a silver reliquary above the main altar in the chapel of the Maison-Mère. Access to the Chapel, which is open to the public, is immediately to the left after going through the front entrance of 95 Rue de Sèvres. The Chapel, with access to the reliquary, is open seven days a week, from 7.00am till 6.30 pm.
The Maison-Mère also has a Museum of Vincentian memorabilia. This Museum is normally open only on request, which can be made at the Porterie (Reception Desk) immediately on the right after passing through the main entrance of 95 Rue de Sèvres.
The Maison-Mère Today
Today, the Maison-Mère is home for some 40 confreres, and the base from which a variety of Ministries are carried out, including the International Formation Centre for Vincentians (CIF).
The Maison-Mère of the Congregation of the Mission can easily be reached in Paris by taking the Metro to Station Vaneau (Metro Line 10). The exit from the station is almost opposite the main entrance of 95 Rue de Sèvres.