A beautiful mosaic of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, principal founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, will be installed later this year in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, USA.
The Basilica is the largest Catholic church in the United States and North America. The Basilica has featured for many years a Vincentian Chapel, including statues dedicated to the Miraculous Medal, St. Vincent de Paul and Saint Louis de Marillac and other artworks. When President General Renato Lima de Oliveira toured the Basilica last year with US National Council CEO Dave Barringer, he asked if Blessed Frederic could also be considered for recognition in this chapel. Brother Barringer first secured the blessing of the Chapel’s original founders, the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity, and then worked with two Basilica committees and its board of directors to obtain approval for a Blessed Frederic glass tile mosaic. Society members throughout the United States have raised funds for the mosaic’s creation and installation.
The 20 by 30 inch glass tile mosaic is based on a popular portrait of Blessed Frederic painted by his brother-in-law and used extensively by the Society. This 4000-tile mosaic was made by the Travisanutto Mosaic Company in Spilimbergo, Italy, the company that created the Basilica’s gigantic, mosaic dome ceilings.
On January 26, 2020, a Sunday Mass presided by Bishop Donald Hying, National Episcopal Adviser to the USA National Council SVDP, will be held in the Basilica’s main church to bless the unveiling of the mosaic’s permanent installation. A reception for 500 Vincentians and guests will be held afterward at Catholic University of America, on whose campus the Basilica resides. Hundreds of thousands of Basilica visitors will see Blessed Frederic’s mosaic annually.