Next Sunday, August 22, 2021, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will be celebrating the 24th anniversary of the beatification of Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam, the contemporary saint, forerunner of the Social Doctrine of the Church, a role model as son, father, husband, professional and Catholic. Along with the SSVP, the Catholic Church and the Vincentian Family will also commemorate this major date for universal history.
In 1833, Ozanam, alongside six other French colleagues, founded the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris. His teachings, writings, speeches and books still exert an influence on mankind. The scope of Ozanam’s work is impressive, proof of which are the dozens of books on him written by experts, followers and devotees. We, as conference members of Saint Vincent de Paul, strive to be a mirror of Ozanam and, as friends, we keep on helping those who suffer and pursue our personal sanctification.
The case leading to his beatification was the miracle that took place in Brazil in 1926 (the cure of a child suffering from malignant diphtheria). Since then, his cause for sainthood is taking steps forward with other cases and testimonies being analyzed. Currently, the Council General International is striving to achieve his canonization, which, with God’s grace, will surely occur in the near future. Another possible miracle, also in Brazil, is being analysed by the Vatican, after many years with no news regarding the process of canonisation. In the last five years, the Council General has worked hard so that the Holy Church may proclaim Ozanam a saint.
However, far beyond a new miracle for Ozanam’s canonization, it is vital to increase a devotion to him, especially amongst us, fellow members, and also among the families assisted and the beneficiaries of our special works. Ozanam should be brought into our daily lives, praying for his intercession in simpler things such as employment, health, family, education and financial issues.
“Ozanam is the glowing light illuminating our Society. Along with the other founding fathers, he worked towards peaceful and effective solutions to social issues, bringing Lord’s Gospel everywhere, especially to the hearts of the most humble and vulnerable. Ozanam is a real example for all of us in this century. Let us pray that Ozanam’s legacy will inspire the world today. His canonization will certainly be a milestone in the SSVP’s history,” stressed our President General, fellow member Renato de Lima.
Click here to read the homily of St. John Paul II on Ozanam’s life, work and legacy.