Category Archives: Frederic Ozanam

Feast of Blessed Frederic Ozanam

September 9 marks the Feast of Blessed Frederic Ozanam. Learn more about his life and work in these resources from

“Antoine Frederic Ozanam: Building the Good Society.”
A series of videos in which Dr. Raymond Sickinger, Ph.D. leads discussion of a paper by Dr. David L. Gregory, Ph.D. The video covers many topics rich in the Vincentian and Catholic traditions. Several professors from Niagara University participated as panelists. This hour-long panel discussion was held during Vincentian Week, September 2009,

The Roots of Ozanam’s Passion for Charity and Justice
Slide presentation, by Ralph Middlecamp of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, describes the times of Frederic Ozanam, the progression of his social thought, and some organizing principles or best practices when dealing with/advocating for the poor and marginalized.

Door of Faith: Frederic Ozanam

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Feast of Blessed Frederic Ozanam

Today is the Feast of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Learn more about Ozanam’s life and work from some of our previous blog posts.

The FAMVIN website contains an informative slide show comparing the lives of Ozanam and Vincent de Paul.

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“Let Us Go to the Poor”: Frederic Ozanam

Frederic Ozanam

Blessed Frederic Ozanam

Old Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri

Basilica of St. Louis IX, King of France in St. Louis, MO, site of the first meeting of the Vincent de Paul Society in 1846.

February 9 marks the feast day of Blessed Frederic Ozanam (1813-1853), founder of the Society of Vincent de Paul.

While a student at the Sorbonne in Paris, Ozanam was part of a group called the “Conference of History”, a forum for discussions among students whose debates often centered on the social teachings of the Gospel. At one meeting, Ozanam was challenged by another student: “What is your church doing now? What is she doing for the poor of Paris? Show us your works and we will believe you!” In response, one of Ozanam’s companions, Auguste de Letaillandier, suggested some effort in favor of the poor. Ozanam agreed, saying, “let us go to the poor!”

The Conference of History soon became known as the “Conference of Charity”, eventually taking the name “Conference of St. Vincent de Paul.” Ozanam, five other students, and a professor met for the first time in May of 1833 set out to engage in practical works of service to the poor. Sister Rosalie Rendu, a Daughter of Charity who spent over 50 years serving in Paris’ poorest slums, was a mentor to Frederic and of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as she taught the first members the art of helping the poor and the sick.

The Conference of Vincent de Paul spread rapidly all over France and the world during Ozanam’s lifetime. Father John Timon, CM, an American Vincentian priest from Pennsylvania, and later Bishop of Buffalo, New York, was the one who brought copies of the Rule of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul back from Dublin, Ireland, to St. Louis. Timon talked to various people about the Society and its wonderful work with the poor. Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick, successor of the first Bishop of St. Louis, Joseph Rosati, CM, asked Father Ambrose Heim to establish the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and be its spiritual advisor. Father Heim was known by all for his extraordinary zeal and ministry with the poor. He became known as “The Priest of the Poor.” The first meeting of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the United States was held in St. Louis, Missouri on November 20, 1845, only twelve years after its foundation in Paris. The Conference was formally recognized by the Society’s International Council in Paris on February 2, 1846.

Learn more about the National Society of St. Vincent de Paul


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