AIC was the first lay women’s organisation in the world, founded by St Vincent de Paul in 1617. It was established in order to fight against poverty and to give women a recognised role in the church and in society.
Several historical dates of the association up to the foundation of the International network.
|birth of St. Vincent de Paul|
|1617||Birth of the first seed of AIC, called « Charity ». Response of the request of their priest, Vincent de Paul, more than 50 women gave the first aid to a family in distress at Châtillon-les-Dombes (France). As a result of this overflowing generosity it was evident that some organisation was necessary in order to be effective.|
|1625||Creation of the Congregation of the Mission. Saint Vincent recommended to his priests to create the « Charities » everywhere where they lived.|
|1633||Creation with Louise de Marillac, of the Company of Daughters of Charity. The same concern as St Vincent, to expand the « Charities » by the Sisters.|
|1634-1651||The « Charities » multiplied in France, then in Italy (1634), in Poland (1651). The association was already internationalised during the life of St Vincent.
During the centuries that followed, voluntary groups grew in numerous countries.
|1789||The activities of the association were interrupted during the French revolution.|
|1840||The association restarted in France and renewed contact with other members of the association.|
|1930||First International Congress of Charity|
|1935-1958||International Congress in Budapest (1935), in Paris (1953), in Brussels (1958). The Congress arranged for Warsaw in 1940 was cancelled due to the war.|
|1971||The Organisation of an International Extraordinary meeting was held in Rome. The volunteers, the delegates of 22 countries voted for the new status of AIC, electing an Executive Office and an International president, drawing up guidelines for action to renew the association. The name AIC, International Association of Charity was adopted. The International Secretariat was transferred to Brussels.|
The AIC International Presidents
Since its creation, the objective of the association is the same, but the methods have changed and are adapted to the needs of today, to the different regions and cultures.