From the archives of famvin… an article from “Vincentian Notebooks”
Vincent was touched by the extreme misery of those afflicted and devastated by illness, war, hunger and epidemic.  He tried to free them from this misery and sought ways to lead them out of their situation of oppression.  He organized different types of assistance: the Charities, distribution of food to the hungry, taking charge of the areas ravaged by war, comforting prisoners and the galley slaves.  Through sharing the gift of faith he also offered all these people interior freedom.
The liberating action of Vincent involved two elements: first, evangelization or proclamation of the Good News.  At this stage, those who were enslaved  by ignorance, superstition or sin, were affirmed in their dignity as children of God, affirmed as individuals who had been called to live together in freedom.  It was hoped that the internalization of this reality would lead them to live in accord with their God-given dignity.  Second, as the Good News was proclaimed, it was also necessary to translate the words into action capable of transforming the lives of those who listened to the message.  It was meaningless to affirm people of their dignity as children of God if they were then left in a state of inhuman misery.