One Minute Reflection – 9 September – “Stretch forth your hand” – St Ambrose

One Minute Reflection – 9 September – Monday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 6:6-11 and the Memorial of St Peter Claver SJ (1581-1654) “slave of the slaves” and Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor”

“On another sabbath, he went into the synagogue and taught and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.” … Luke 6:6luke 6 6 there was a man thre whose right hand was withred - 9 sept 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Are you angry at me because I have healed the whole man on the sabbath day?”   In this place he revivified, with the salutary strength of good works, the hand which Adam stretched out to pluck the fruit of the forbidden tree.   The hand which had withered through a crime, was healed by good deeds.   Christ thereby rebuked the Jews who violated the precepts of the law with evil interpretations.   They thought that they should rest even from good works on the sabbath, since the law prefigured in the present, the form of the future, in which indeed the days of rest from evils, not from blessings, would come.

Then you heard the words of the Lord, saying, “Stretch forth your hand.”   That is the common and universal remedy.   You, who think that you have a healthy hand, beware lest it is withered by greed or by sacrilege.   Hold it out often.   Hold it out to the poor person who begs you.   Hold it out to help your neighbour, to give protection to a widow, to snatch from harm one whom you see subjected to unjust insult.   Hold it out to God for your sins.   The hand is stretched forth, then it is healed.   Jeroboam’s hand withered when he sacrificed to idols, then it stretched out when he entreated God” …  St Ambrose (340-397)-  One of the 4 original Doctors of the Latin Church – Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 5luke 6 6 there was a man with a withered hand - you think you have a healthy hand st ambrose 9 sept 2019.jpg

PRAYER – God of mercy and love, You offer all peoples the dignity of sharing in your life. Rule over our hearts and bodies this day.   Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, my our hands be held out to our neighbour in imitation of Your love and mercy.   By the example and prayers of St Peter Claver and Bl Frederic Ozanam, strengthen us to overcome all racial hatreds and to love each other as brothers and sisters.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever amen.

st-peter-claver-pray-for-us 9 sept 2017

bl frederic ozanam pray for us 9 sept 2019


Thought for the Day – 9 September – “One of those privileged creatures who came direct from the hand of God …”

Thought for the Day – 9 September – The Memorial of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor” and Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society

A man convinced of the inestimable worth of each human being, Frédéric served the poor of Paris well and drew others into serving the poor of the world.   Through the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, which he founded, his work continues to the present day.

Once, after Frédéric spoke about Christianity’s role in civilisation, a club member said: “Let us be frank, Mr Ozanam, let us also be very particular.   What do you do besides talk to prove the faith you claim is in you?”

Frédéric was stung by the question.   He soon decided that his words needed a grounding in action.   He and a friend began visiting Paris tenements and offering assistance as best they could.   Soon a group dedicated to helping individuals in need under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul formed around Frédéric.

Feeling that the Catholic faith needed an excellent speaker to explain its teachings, Frédéric convinced the Archbishop of Paris to appoint Dominican Father Jean-Baptiste Lacordaire OP (1802-1861), the greatest preacher then in France, to preach a Lenten series in Notre Dame Cathedral.   It was well-attended and became an annual tradition in Paris.   Meanwhile, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society was growing throughout Europe.   Paris alone counted 25 conferences.

In 1846, Frédéric, Amelie, and their daughter Marie went to Italy, there he hoped to restore his poor health.   They returned the next year.   The revolution of 1848 left many Parisians in need of the services of the Saint Vincent de Paul conferences.   The unemployed numbered 275,000.   The government asked Frédéric and his coworkers to supervise the government aid to the poor.   Vincentians throughout Europe came to the aid of Paris.

In 1852, poor health again forced Frédéric to return to Italy with his wife and daughter. He died on 8 September 1853.   In his sermon at Frédéric’s funeral, Fr Lacordaire described his friend as “one of those privileged creatures who came direct from the hand of God in whom God joins tenderness to genius, in order to enkindle the world.”one of those priviliged creatures - bl frederic by jean baptiste lacordaire 9 sept 2019.jpg

Frédéric was beatified in 1997.   Since Frédéric wrote an excellent book entitled Franciscan Poets of the Thirteenth Century, and since his sense of the dignity of each poor person was so close to the thinking of Saint Francis, it seemed appropriate to include him among Franciscan “greats.”

His commitment to the plight of those in need and social justice for all, inspires us to look around our communities today—outside our safety zones—and activate the Christian virtues of charity that we are all called to by the life of Jesus.   He said:

“Yours must be a work of love, of kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves.   The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning with an inalienable right to respect.   You must not be content with tiding the poor over the poverty crisis, You must study their condition and the injustices which brought about such poverty, with the aim of a long term improvement.”

Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam

Lord, 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 those 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 inspired
by St Vincent de Paul’s love, boldness and humility.
His prophetic social vision appears in every aspect of his life,
together with the radiance of his virtues.
We thank you Lord, for these many gifts.
May the Church proclaim his holiness,
as a saint, a providential light for today’s world!
We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Blessed Frederic, Pray for us too, Amen!bl frederic ozanam pray for us 9 sept 2019 no 2.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 9 September – from Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society

Quote/s of the Day – 9 September – The Memorial of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor” and Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society

“The best way to economise time,
is to ‘lose’ half-an-hour each day,
attending Holy Mass.”the best way to economise time - bl frederic ozanam attending holy mass 9 sept 2019

“It is our vocation to set people’s hearts ablaze,
to do what the Son of God did,
who came to light a fire on earth
in order to set it ablaze with His love.”it is our vocation - bl frederic ozanam 9 sept 2019.jpg

“I am now completely convinced,
that when one does a deed of charity,
one need not worry about
where the money will come from,
it will always come!”

“I would like to embrace
the whole world
in a network of charity.”i would like to embrace the whole world - bl frederic ozanam 9 sept 2019.jpg

“Society today seems to me to be not unlike the wayfarer described in the parable of the Good Samaritan.   For while journeying along the road mapped out for it by Christ, it has been set upon by thieves of evil human thought.   Bad men have despoiled the wayfarer of all his goods, of the treasures of faith and love… . The priests and the Levites have passed him by.   But this time, being real priests and true Levites, they have approached the suffering, wretched creature and attempted to cure him.   But in his delirium he has not recognised them and has driven them away.   Then we weak Samaritans, outsiders as we are, have dared to approach this great sick patient.   Perhaps he will be less affrighted by us?   Let us try to measure the extent of his wounds, in order to pour oil into them.   Let us make words of peace and consolation ringing in his ears.   Then, when his eyes are opened, we will hand him over to the tender care of those, whom God has chosen, to be the guardians and doctors of souls.”

“In my life
I want to become better
and do a little good”

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)
“Servant to the Poor”in my life i want to become a little better and do a little good - bl frederic ozanam 9 sept 2019

Posted in ArchAngels and Angels, Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC TIME, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 9 September – My Oldest Friend

Our Morning Offering – 9 September – Monday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Monday the Angels Day

In Catholic Time, Monday is the day in which we remember the Angels. Angels are powerful guardians and each of us is protected by one. Many of the saints had a great devotion to the Angels in general and to their Guardian Angel in particular.

My Oldest Friend
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

My oldest friend, mine from the hour
When first I drew my breath,
My faithful friend, that shall be mine,
Unfailing, till my death….

Mine when I stand before the Judge,
And mine, if spared to stay
Within the golden furnace, till
My sin is burn’d away.

And mine, O Brother of my soul,
When my release shall come,
Thy gentle arms shall lift me then,
Thy wings shall waft me oldest friend - prayer to our guardian angel by bl john henry newman - 2 october 2018.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 9 September – Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)

Saint of the Day – 9 September – Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor” Married layman, Literary scholar, Lawyer, Journalist, Professor of Law and of Foreign Literature, Apostle of Charity, Writer and Equal Rights Advocate, Doctor of Letters with a thesis on Dante that then formed the basis of Ozanam’s best-known books.  His writings and teaching always revolved around the benefits to individuals and society of Christianity.   Born on 23 April 1813 in Milan, Italy and Died on 8 September 1853 in Marseilles, Bouches-du-Rhône, France of natural causes, aged just 40.   He founded, with colleagues, the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.   He was Beatified by St Pope John Paul II in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in 1997.   Patronages – the St Vincent de Paul Society, Politicians, Economists, Social Workers, Teachers, Journalists, Criminologists, Anthropologists, Historians, Frederic_Ozanam_portrait3.jpg

Antoine Frédéric Ozanam (commonly called Frédéric) was born on 23 April 1813 in Milan, Italy, the son of Jean-Antoine François Ozanam, doctor in medicine and Marie Nantas, daughter of a shopkeeper.   Two years later, the Ozanam family moved back to their home town of Lyon, France.   Frédéric was the fifth of 14 children, only four of whom survived.   In his youth, Frédéric experienced doubt regarding the Catholic faith, during which he was strongly assisted by one of his teachers at the Collège de Lyon, the priest Abbé Noirot.

Ozanam received the degrees of Bachelor of Laws in 1834, Bachelor of Arts in 1835 and Doctor of Laws in 1836.  His father, who had wanted him to study law, died on 12 May 1837.   Although he preferred literature, Frédéric worked in the legal profession in order to support his mother and was admitted to the Bar in Lyon in 1837. At the same time, he also pursued his personal interest and in 1839 he obtained the degree of Doctor of Letters with a thesis on Dante that influenced many of his writings.  A year later he was appointed to a professorship of commercial law at Lyon and in 1840, at the age of 27, assistant professor of foreign literature at the Sorbonne.   His lectures were popular and focused on Christianity as the primary factor in the growth of European civilisation, unlike most of his colleagues, who shared in the predominantly anti-Christian climate of the time. bl OZANAM 2

In June 1841, he married Amélie Soulacroix, daughter of the rector of the University of Lyon and the couple travelled to Italy for their honeymoon.   They had a daughter, Marie.

Ozanam was described as ” … a man of great faith.   He valued friendships and defended his friends no matter what the cost.   He was attentive to details, perhaps to the extreme. …  He showed a great tenderness when dealing with his family. …  He had a great reverence for his parents and revealed his ability to sacrifice his career and his profession in order to please them.”bl frederic - Ozanam.jpg

Upon the death in 1844 of Claude Charles Fauriel, Ozanam succeeded to the full professorship of foreign literature at the Sorbonne.   The remainder of his short life was extremely busy, attending to his duties as a professor, his extensive literary activities and visiting the poor.

While still a student, Frédéric Ozanam and his friends led a discussion group called a “Society of Good Studies.”   At one meeting during a heated debate, one voice issued the challenge, “What is your church doing now?   What is the church doing for the poor of Paris?   Show us your works and we will believe you!”   From this, Frédéric created a group called the “Conference of Charity,” composed of pious friends, who joined works to their words.   The first meeting took place on 23 AprilBl Frederic Ozanam 1833 near the Saint-Sulpice Church, chaired by Emmanuel Bailly who became the group’s mentor.   The Conference was placed under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), Apostle of Charity.  The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul grew rapidly and focused on two areas – visiting the poor families of Paris and nurturing the spiritual life of its

In his final years, Frederic oversaw the expansion of the society to Italy and then additional countries.   He pioneered a newspaper, The New Era, dedicated to securing justice for the poor and the working classes.   Referring to the poor man as “the nation’s priest,” Frederick said that the hunger and sweat of the poor formed a sacrifice that could redeem the people’s humanity.

Frédéric’s naturally weak constitution fell prey to consumption, which he hoped to cure by visiting Italy but on his return to France, he died in Marseille on 8 September 1853 at the age of 40 of Tuberculosis.   At that time, the St Vincent de Paul Society was active in 29 countries.   Frédéric Ozanam was buried in the crypt of the church of St Joseph des Carmes at the Institut Catholique in Paris.

In 2013, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of Frédéric Ozanam and its 180 years of existence.   Despite the difficulties of practising faith in some countries, the Society and its members remain faithful to the spirit and ideals originally inspired by Frédéric Ozanam – Go towards the poor, go and meet them in their homes, in respect and brotherhood.562px bl-Frédéric_Ozanam_2.jpg

In 1925, the Diocese of Paris opened the procedure for Canonisation of Frédéric Ozanam. In February 1926, an 18-month old Brazilian boy experienced a miraculous cure from a dangerous form of diphtheria.   On 22 June 1995, after a lengthy enquiry, this was officially recognised as a miracle through the intercession of Frédéric Ozanam.   The 2nd stage was passed on 22 August 1997 with the Beatification of Frédéric Ozanam by St Pope John Paul II.   His cause for Canonisation continues.


Ozanam“is recognised as a precursor of the Catholic Church’s social doctrine, whose cultural and religious origins he wanted to know and on which he wrote books which are still in great demand.”    His works were published in eleven volumes (Paris, 1862–1865). Bust_of_Frédéric_Ozanam

Posted in JESUIT SJ, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 9 September

St Peter Claver SJ (1581-1654) (Memorial)

St Alexander of Sabine
Bl Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)

St Basura of Masil
St Bettelin
St Dorotheus of Nicomedia
Bl Gaudridus
Bl George Douglas
St Gorgonio of Rome
St Gorgonius of Nicomedia
St Isaac the Great
Bl Jacques Laval
St Joseph of Volokolamsk
St Kieran the Younger
Bl Maria Eutimia Uffing
Bl Mary de la Cabeza
St Omer
St Osmanna
Bl Pierre Bonhomme
St Rufinian
St Rufinus
Bl Seraphina Sforza
St Severian
St Straton
St Teódulo González Fernández
St Tiburtius
St Valentinian of Chur
St Wilfrida
St Wulfhilda