Bl. Frederic Ozanam – Vincentian Holy Day – September 9th

Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam, literary scholar, lawyer, journalist, and advocate of the poor. With other students he founded the Conference of Charity, which later became known as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

It is no mistake that Pope St. John Paul II chose to beatify Blessed Frederic Ozanam on a day where the Gospel read is of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan was not of the priestly class and was considered a type of outcast from the Jews.

Jesus chose a Samaritan to show humanity how to act in accordance with the love of God, and a priest to show us how not to act. This passage is especially fitting for a layman whom, with others, was inspired to make concrete Jesus’ teachings on charity in a society filled with neglect and injustice. Blessed Frederic was an ordinary layman, not a priest, not a religious. He was a family man, a man of his community.

John Paul II wrote, ” Frédéric Ozanam believed in love, the love of God for every individual. He felt himself called to love, giving the example of a great love for God and others. He went to all those who needed to be loved more than others, those to whom the love of God could not be revealed effectively except through the love of another person.”

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