Founder's words inspire Vincentians on feast day

Blessed Frederic Ozanam (Vincentian.org)

Members of the St Vincent de Paul Society celebrated the feast day of founder Blessed Frederic Ozanam yesterday, highlighting his call to “walk with companions” during difficult times.

“This year as we reflect on his extraordinary work and legacy, we are especially mindful of the call to walk even more closely with companions in the face of historic drought, bushfires, floods and the COVID pandemic,” said Claire Victory, National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia.

“Some are asking for a hand up for the first time in their lives. It is something many find challenging.

“The writings of Frederic Ozanam provide us with the inspiration to respond creatively to anyone affected by difficult times.”

In correspondence with other members of the Society, Blessed Frederic wrote:

The knowledge of social wellbeing is learned, not from books, nor from public debate, but in climbing the stairs to the poor man’s garret, sitting by his bedside, feeling the same cold that pierces him, sharing the secret of his lonely heart and troubled mind.

When we know first-hand the conditions of the poor in school, at work, in hospital, in the city, in the country, everywhere that God has placed them, then and only then can we begin to grasp the elements of poverty and hope we may resolve it.

Ms Victory said Blessed Frederic’s words were a reminder of the importance of the need to “remain in communion” with people suffering from hardships.

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Feast Day of Blessed Frederic Ozanam (St Vincent de Paul Society)

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Actions over words: Blessed Frederic Ozanam (Melbourne Catholic)

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