Blessed Frédéric Ozanam
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. Challenged by a friend Frédéric 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. After Frédéric earned his law degree at the Sorbonne, he taught law at the University of Lyons. He also earned a doctor-ate in literature. Soon after marrying Amelie Soulacroix on June 23, 1841, he returned to the Sorbonne to teach literature. Frédéric then started a newspaper, The New Era, dedicated to securing justice for the poor and the working classes, and he wrote referring to the poor man as “the nation’s priest,” Frédéric said that the hunger and sweat of the poor formed a sacrifice that could redeem the people’s humanity. Frédéric was beatified in 1997.