The Congregation of the Brothers of Charity was founded in Ghent, Belgium on 28th December 1807 by Canon Joseph Peter Triest, with the purpose of taking care of elderly men at the Byloke Hospital in that city. After three years of setbacks, the Novitiate started in 1810, and the first Brothers of Charity took their vows on 26th November 1811. Within a decade, Canon Triest and his Brothers had set up several charitable services that they would develop worldwide. The special aim of this Congregation was the sanctification of its members in the religious state by the exercise of works of charity, which, in the spirit of its founder, embraced every phase of moral and physical suffering and want. They tended the sick, sheltered the poor, cared for the aged, provided for those with learning disability, and raised orphan children. They opened their first service in Ireland in 1883 to provide for mental health needs.