Feast of Bl. Frédéric Ozanam

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A statue of Bl. Frédéric Ozanam, known as the “Apostle in a Top Hat,” welcomes visitors to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Dan O’Meara Center in Phoenix. (Courtesy of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul)
This stained-glass window of Bl. Frédéric Ozanam, founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, is found in the Diocesan Pastoral Center chapel. (Tony Gutiérrez/CATHOLIC SUN)

Sept. 9

At Frédéric’s 1997 beatification in Paris, Pope John Paul II called him a model for Catholic laypeople. Though he earned a doctorate in law and his father hoped he would become a judge, Frédéric turned to literature and charity for his life’s work. He taught literature at the Sorbonne, was happily married and had a daughter.

Beginning in 1831 he was part of a group of young Catholic intellectuals who discussed literature, history and society, while also visiting the poor and sick at home. They became the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which is still active worldwide.

Frédéric joined the Third Order of St. Francis shortly before his death at age 40. He was beatified Aug. 22, 1997 in Paris.

As the founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, he is a patron of the society’s Phoenix Diocesan Council and all parish conferences.