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On 28 December, 1807 Fr. Peter Joseph Triest brought together a few young men to care for a group of elderly people. In Ghent, like in many other cities, the care for the poor, the sick, and the elderly was in a very bad state at that time.

Triest wanted to do something about that and founded no less than four congregations. We are one of those congregations, the Brothers of Charity. In 1807, we were still called the ‘Hospital Brothers of Saint Vincent’. The first brothers made their vows in 1811. They would be religious brothers from now on. What started very small in 1807, gradually developed into an international congregation with houses in 30 countries. A small seed became a tree and still this tree bears fruit.

On Sunday, 26 August 2001 the process for the beatification of Fr. Triest was opened at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent.