Friday, September 7, 2012


Founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul

In the hope of obtaining a miracle through his intercession


You made Blessed Frédéric Ozanam a witness of the Gospel,
full of wonder at the mystery of the Church.

You inspired him to alleviate poverty and injustice and endowed him with untiring generosity in the service of all who were suffering.

In family life, he revealed a most genuine love as a son,
brother, husband and father.

In secular life, his ardent passion for the truth enlightened his thought, writing and teaching.

His vision for our society was a network of charity encircling the world and he instilled St Vincent de Paul’s spirit of love, boldness and humility.

His prophetic social vision appears in every aspect of his short life, together with the radiance of his virtues.

We thank you Lord, for those many gifts and we ask, 
if it is your will,
the grace of a miracle through the intercession of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam.

May the Church proclaim his holiness, as a saint,
a providential light for today’s world!

We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.



Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

1 Cor 4:1-5

Brothers and sisters:

Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 27-28, 39-40

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
Criminals are destroyed
and the posterity of the wicked is cut off.

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Lk 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
"The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink."

Jesus answered them,

"Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days."

And he also told them a parable.

"No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, 'The old is good.'"


September 7

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853)

A man convinced of the inestimable worth of each human being, Frédéric served the poor of Paris well and drew others into serving the poor of the world. Through the St. Vincent de Paul Society, his work continues to the present day.

Frédéric was the fifth of Jean and Marie Ozanam’s 14 children, one of only three to reach adulthood. As a teenager he began having doubts about his religion. Reading and prayer did not seem to help, but long walking discussions with Father Noirot of the Lyons College clarified matters a great deal.

Frédéric wanted to study literature, although his father, a doctor, wanted him to become a lawyer. Frédéric yielded to his father’s wishes and in 1831 arrived in Paris to study law at the University of the Sorbonne. When certain professors there mocked Catholic teachings in their lectures, Frédéric defended the Church.

A discussion club which Frédéric organized sparked the turning point in his life. In this club Catholics, atheists and agnostics debated the issues of the day. Once, after Frédéric spoke about Christianity’s role in civilization, a club member said: "Let us be frank, Mr. Ozanam; let us also be very particular. What do you do besides talk to prove the faith you claim is in you?"

Frédéric was stung by the question. He soon decided that his words needed a grounding in action. He and a friend began visiting Paris tenements and offering assistance as best they could. Soon a group dedicated to helping individuals in need under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul formed around Frédéric.

Feeling that the Catholic faith needed an excellent speaker to explain its teachings, Frédéric convinced the Archbishop of Paris to appoint Father Lacordaire, the greatest preacher then in France, to preach a Lenten series in Notre Dame Cathedral. It was well attended and became an annual tradition in Paris.

After Frédéric earned his law degree at the Sorbonne, he taught law at the University of Lyons. He also earned a doctorate in literature. Soon after marrying Amelie Soulacroix on June 23, 1841, he returned to the Sorbonne to teach literature. A well-respected lecturer, Frédéric worked to bring out the best in each student. Meanwhile, the St. Vincent de Paul Society was growing throughout Europe. Paris alone counted 25 conferences.

In 1846, Frédéric, Amelie and their daughter Marie went to Italy; there he hoped to restore his poor health. They returned the next year. The revolution of 1848 left many Parisians in need of the services of the St. Vincent de Paul conferences. The unemployed numbered 275,000. The government asked Frédéric and his co-workers to supervise the government aid to the poor. Vincentians throughout Europe came to the aid of Paris.

Frédéric then started a newspaper, The New Era, dedicated to securing justice for the poor and the working classes. Fellow Catholics were often unhappy with what Frédéric wrote. Referring to the poor man as "the nation’s priest," Frédéric said that the hunger and sweat of the poor formed a sacrifice that could redeem the people’s humanity

In 1852 poor health again forced Frédéric to return to Italy with his wife and daughter. He died on September 8, 1853. In his sermon at Frédéric’s funeral, Lacordaire described his friend as "one of those privileged creatures who came direct from the hand of God in whom God joins tenderness to genius in order to enkindle the world."

Frédéric was beatified in 1997. Since Frédéric wrote an excellent book entitled Franciscan Poets of the Thirteenth Century and since Frederick’s sense of the dignity of each poor person was so close to the thinking of St. Francis, it seemed appropriate to include him among Franciscan "greats."


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.


God has spoken by his prophets,
Spoken his unchanging word,
Each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord.
Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
one firm anchor holdeth fast:
God is King, his throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.
God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
With the Father ever one;
Spoken by the Word incarnate,
God of God, ere time began,
Light of Light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.
Psalm 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
a heavy burden, they weigh me down.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Psalm 37 (38)
O Lord, you know all my longing.

My wounds are corruption and decay

because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
while those who would kill me set traps,
those who would harm me make their plots:
they plan mischief all through the day.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

O Lord, you know all my longing.

Psalm 37 (38)

I confess my guilt to you, Lord; 
do not forsake me, my saviour.

But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
O Lord, my saviour.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

I confess my guilt to you, Lord; 
do not forsake me, my saviour.

My eyes are weary with longing for your salvation
– and for your words of justice.

Jeremiah 30:18-31:9

The Lord says this:

Now I will restore the tents of Jacob,
and take pity on his dwellings:
the city shall be rebuilt on its ruins,
the citadel restored on its site.
From them will come thanksgiving
and shouts of joy.
I will make them increase, and not diminish them,
make them honoured, and not disdained.
Their sons shall be as once they were,
their community fixed firm in my presence,
and I will punish all their oppressors.
Their prince will be one of their own,
their ruler come from their own people.
I will let him come freely into my presence and he can come close to me;
who else, indeed, would risk his life
by coming close to me? – it is the Lord who speaks.
And you shall be my people and I will be your God.
Now a storm of the Lord breaks,
a tempest whirls,
it bursts over the head of the wicked;
the anger of the Lord will not turn aside
until he has performed and carried out,
the decision of his heart.
You will understand this in the days to come.
When that time comes – it is the Lord who speaks – I will be the God of all the clans of Israel: they shall be my people.
The Lord says this:
They have found pardon in the wilderness,
those who have survived the sword.
Israel is marching to his rest.
The Lord has appeared to him from afar:
I have loved you with an everlasting love,
so I am constant in my affection for you.
I build you once more; you shall be rebuilt,
virgin of Israel.
Adorned once more, and with your tambourines,
you will go out dancing gaily.
You will plant vineyards once more
on the mountains of Samaria
the planters have done their planting: they will gather the fruit.
Yes, a day will come when the watchmen shout
on the mountains of Ephraim,
‘Up! Let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God!’
For the Lord says this:
Shout with joy for Jacob!
Hail the chief of nations!
Proclaim! Praise! Shout:
‘The Lord has saved his people,
the remnant of Israel!’
See, I will bring them back
from the land of the North
and gather them from the far ends of earth;
all of them: the blind and the lame,
women with child, women in labour:
a great company returning here.
They had left in tears,
I will comfort them as I lead them back;
I will guide them to streams of water,
by a smooth path where they will not stumble.
For I am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my first-born son.


A day will come when the watchmen shout:
Let us go up Zion to the Lord our God!

House of Jacob, come and we will walk in the light of the Lord.
Let us go up Zion to the Lord our God!

St Leo the Great on the Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit

There is no doubt that the poor find it easier than the rich to receive the blessing of humility; for gentleness goes with poverty just as pride more commonly goes with riches. Nevertheless, very many rich people find that their wealth does not swell them up with pride: rather, they do good and benevolent things with it. For these people the greatest treasure is what they spend in relieving the distress and hardship of others.
In the virtue of humility men of every kind and every standing meet together, because though they differ in their means they share a common purpose. Their inequality of wealth makes no difference if they are equal in spiritual blessings.

What kind of poverty, then, is blessed? The kind that is not in love with earthly things and does not seek worldly riches: the kind that longs to be filled with the blessings of heaven.

After our Lord himself, the Apostles have given us the best example of this greatness of heart in poverty. When their Master called, they instantly left behind all that they possessed, and from catching fish they turned swiftly to fishing for men. Their example inspired many to emulate their faith and so become like them: it was at this time that these first sons of the Church were of one heart and there was one spirit among believers. With all their possessions stripped away they received the riches of eternal blessings, and through the Apostles’ preaching they rejoiced at having nothing that the world could give and possessing all things with Christ.

So it was that when the blessed apostle Peter was going up into the Temple and the cripple begged him for alms, he replied I have neither silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk! What could be higher than this lowliness? What could be richer than this poverty? He cannot give the support of money but he can give the gift of a restored nature. From the womb his mother brought him forth a cripple; by a word Peter raises him up to health. He did not give the image of Caesar stamped on a coin but he restored the image of Christ in the man himself.

The man who was given the power to walk was not the only one to receive help from this rich treasure. From the same act of miraculous healing five thousand men received the gift of faith in the Apostle’s teaching. The poor man who could give nothing of what he was asked for restored one lame man to his feet but also healed the hearts of thousands: he found them lame and brought them to be lithe and agile in Christ.


The disciples came to Jesus, and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

This is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Let us pray.

Father of might and power,
every good and perfect gift
comes down to us from you.
Implant in our hearts the love of your name,
increase our zeal for your service,
nourish what is good in us
and tend it with watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.