Thought for the Day – 4 August – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year and The Memorial of Blessed Frédéric Janssoone OFM (1838-1916) – “God’s Pedlar”, “Good Fr Frederic”
His Great Passion, Jesus of Nazareth
One of the very first things to extract from the life of Father Frederic, is his passion for Jesus of Nazareth.
His early education pointed him toward the Gospels. His formation with the Franciscans, his plans to become a missionary in the Holy Land, his writings and books all his preaching on Jesus the son of man and son of God, everything reveals to us that the Blessed Frederic is the missionary to the Holy Land par excellence. His work orients us to know Jesus in the mysteries of His humanity, His birth, His public life, His passion and Resurrection.
It is he who walked about the country of Jesus in every sense during the 14 years that he lived in the Holy Land. The Stations of the Cross which had been banned since 1621, he negotiated with the Muslim Arabs the right to preach the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa and in the arched souks of Jerusalem. He directed the construction work of the church of Saint Catherine next to the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. For this construction, he then went to beg in France and in Canada, hence his first journey in 1881.
He is a pioneer in the dispersion of the gospels in Canada. From 1893 to 1907, his Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a text in harmony with the Gospels, enjoyed eight printings, which represent a total of 42,000 copies “It was without a doubt the greatest publishing success in Canada” (Legare – Baillargeon, Good Father Frederic, Montreal, Pauline Ed. 1988, p. 277).
Blessed Frederic could be the patron of the seekers of meaning and truth who study the Gospels and especially the life of Jesus of Nazareth, thus the man Jesus.
Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed Frederic Janssoone
Almighty and eternal God,
You granted to Blessed Frederic Janssoone,
son of France,
to follow the footsteps of Your Son Jesus
in the Holy Land,
and to work there for peace.
Then You led him to Canada,
to invite that nation
to be generous toward the Holy Land,
to found the Sanctuary of the Cap-de-la-Madeleine,
and to better make known
the life of Jesus of Nazareth
and His most holy Mother.
Grant us to become in turn,
and veritable missionaries of Your Church.
That we also may be equally
solid pillars of the faith in our Christian communities.
Grant us, through his intercession,
the favour that we ask…
Grant this son of Saint Francis of Assisi,
to be canonised soon,
and to draw us all toward Your Son
Jesus, Our Lord.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…