During this month, we will have the opportunity to learn how our Vincentian saints and blessed lived their Faith. Let them inspire us in our search for a way to make a public profession of our Faith as Pope Benedict XVI asked in his Apostolic Letter “Porta Fidei”.
THE FAITH OF THE BLESSED FRÉDÉRIC OZANAM
Faith was the sacred fire for Frédéric. It was both a virtue to be nourished and a gift to be shared. It was a grace and a heritage in his life that made him justifiably proud and insistent in its public proclamation Faith gave him the nobility and the call to serve the poor with intelligence, humility, and mercy. Frédéric understood the importance of Christians to be, and to be seen as, apostles sent to counteract the coldness of the world by the ardent fire of faith. He saw the importance of fraternal support in practicing the works of mercy. Above all, he saw Christ in the persons of the poor, and he responded to them as representatives of his master.
Ramson, Ronald, C.M., Praying with Frédéric Ozanam, 1998, p. 27.
Frédéric Ozanam was a special case in the history of his time. In him can found all richness of a man of science that affirms his Catholic faith without arrogance or timidity. He lived always alert to the needs of the world and concerned with the testimony of his faith and his Christian action in intellectual milieu where he lived and worked. Mainly, he was particularly concerned with the Poor. He worked tirelessly in order to help them to get out of the vulnerable situations in which they lived. The primary goal of Frédéric Ozanam was to give testimony to Jesus Christ and to the Church showing that Christians’ faith must inspire them to work in a concrete way for the good of the Poor both materially and spiritually.
Poggioli, Mizaél Donizetti, C.M., Fundamentals of the Spirituality of Frédéric Ozanm, 2009.
Some thoughts of the Blessed Frédéric Ozanam about FAITH:
“I knew the doubts of the present century, but all my life convinced me that there is no rest for the spirit and the heart except in the faith of the Church and under its authority.”
“The cause of Christian knowledge, the cause of the faith, is what I hold to the roots of my heart; and in any way I can serve it.”
“Let us learn, first of all, to defend our belief without hating our adversaries, to appreciate those who do not think as we do, to recognize that there are Christians in every camp, and that God can be served now as always! Let us complain less of our times and more of ourselves. Let us not be discouraged, let us be better.”
“It is not a fragile stem what we need to serve as support in our earthly journey. It will be before the two wings of these angels: faith and charity.”
“Our main purpose is not merely to help the poor – this is but a means to an end. Our true aim is to preserve in ourselves the Catholic Faith in all its purity and to communicate it to others through the channels of charity. Charity teaches us that when we visit the poor we gain much more than they do”.