Frederic Ozanam is known around the world for his charitable work, and especially for founding the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in April 1833. As an intellectual and a fervent Catholic, he devoted his whole life and Faith to the service of those most in need. He was deeply committed to justice and human dignity, and during his lifetime helped to develop Catholic Social Teaching. In 1853, aged only 40, he commended his soul to his Creator, at the end of a life full of spiritual riches and wholly dedicated to the poor. His thought and his works, still not widely known, are now the subject of study, but it is above all for his exemplary life that Frédéric Ozanam inspires and guides so many believers around the world.
The cause for Canonisation
In 1925, over 70 years after the death of Frederic Ozanam, the Diocese of Paris started the canonisation procedure, beginning with the information-gathering phase. Eleven months later, in February 1926, the Cause took a significant step forward with the miraculous cure of an 18-month old baby in Brazil, Fernando Luiz B. Ottoni, who was afflicted with a virulent form of diphtheria. After a lengthy investigative process, on 22 June 1995, this cure was officially recognised as a miracle through Ozanam’s intercession.
A second, long-awaited stage was completed on 22 August 1997, with the Beatification of Frédéric Ozanam, by Pope John Paul II, at the World Youth Days in Paris. The ceremony was held in Notre-Dame cathedral (video archive available at the INA site: http://www.ina.fr/video/CAC97124466)
A procedure taking its course
During his inauguration speech on September 9, International President General Renato Lima de Oliveira emphasized its commitment to intensify actions to achieve the canonization of Blessed Frederic Ozanam. This cause is being conducted and defended by a Commission within the International General Council, whose members are:
- Amin de Tarrazi (Delegate for the Cause for the Canonisation and former President General)
- Sebastián Gramajo (Vice-President for communications)
- Father Shijo KANJIRATHAMKUNNEL PHD CM, postulator
Today, a second miracle is needed, and two cases are being studied, which will be analyzed by the Commission for Canonisation :
1.The case of Profetina Jesus Almeida Queiroz, member of a Conference in Portugal, who had an accident in the year 2012 resulting in vascular brain damage, and whose health is currently very good.
2.Andréia Auxiliadora da Luz Nascimento, from Minas Gerais, Brazil. In 2013 she had a pregnancy with a high risk of anencephaly for the baby; but the mother who is a Vincentian said many prayers and her son Jose Antonio is today 2 years old and is full of health and life.
A prayer has been written beseeching the Lord to allow another miracle that will lead to the Canonisation of the Founder of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. This prayer has been translated into 5 languages and sent to the Saint Vincent de Paul Councils and Conferences so it is spread widely among members of the Society and Vincentians.
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.