A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Bienheureux Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam (Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam) (1813-53). Catholic Church Feast Day commemorating the Milanese literary scholar, lawyer, journalist and equal rights advocate born into a family of Jewish origin. He founded with fellow students at the Sorbonne, where he later became a professor, the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. At 18, Ozanam published the Réflexions sur la Doctrine de Saint-Simon pamphlet against Saint-Simonianism. He wrote for the Association for the Propagation of the Faith, a lay Catholic organisation aiming to support local Catholic missionaries, and contributed to Bailly’s Tribune catholique, which became the L’Univers French Catholic daily newspaper with a strongly-ultramontane position advocating supreme papal authority in matters of faith and discipline. He helped revive the Society of Good Studies discussion group, later a Conference of History forum for large and lively discussions by students of the social teachings of the Gospel. At 20, he was challenged and thus emerged the charitable Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, which at his death had over 2,000 members under the guidance of Sister Rosalie Rendu, a member of the Congregation of Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul who was prominent in serving the poor in the Paris slums, including during a cholera epidemic. Ozanam died on 8 September 1853 in Marseilles. Venerated in Catholic Church. Patron of politicians, economists, social workers, teachers, journalists, criminologists, anthropologists, historians, geographers, environmentalists. Image: ssvpglobal.org.
St Joachim (יְהוֹיָקִים Yəhôyāqîm, he whom Yahweh has set up, ˈdʒoʊəkɪm, Ἰωακείμ, ʿImran, Confessor) (c50 BCE-15 CE). Eastern Orthodox Church, Greek Catholic veneration (Synaxis, Σύναξις, Собор, Sobor) of the husband of St Anna, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandfather of Jesus. Joachim and Anna first appear in the apocryphal 2nd Century Book of James (Protevangelion). In the Qur’an, a whole chapter, Al Imran, is named after his family and it is said that this family was one of those preferred over all of God’s creatures: “Lo! God preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of ʿImrān above (all His) creatures.” Ja’far al-Sadiq, the 12th Imam, confirmed that ʿImran was a prophet and apostle to his people, stating: “Hannah the wife of ʿImran and Ishba the wife of Zechariah were sisters, Mary being born from Hannah and John the Baptist from Ishba.” Also venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion with St Anne on 26 July and in Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Lutheranism. Patron of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents, married couples, cabinet makers and linen traders. Image: ewtn.com.
St Peter Claver SJ (Pedro Claver y Corberó, Pere Claver i Corberó, Slave of the slaves) (1580-1654). Lutheran and Catholic Church Commemoration, on the Colombian Human Rights National Day, of the death of the poor but pious Catalonian Jesuit religious, priest, confessor, human rights defender, missionary and presbyter of La Compañía de Jesus (the Church of the Society of Jesus). He was born in Verdú 70 years after King Ferdinand of Spain set colonial slavery in motion by authorising the purchase of 250 African slaves in Lisbon for his territories in New Spain (Virreinato de Nueva España), which included what are now Mexico, some USA states, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chiapas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. Volunteering for the Spanish colonies, Claver said: “I must dedicate myself to the service of God until death, on the understanding that I am like a slave.” From 1610, he ministered for 40 years in Nueva Cartagena, now Colombia, which was the major slave market of the world with a thousand slaves landing every month, after over 300 had died in transit, in the 16th Century Spanish colonial provinces of the Nuevo Reino de Granada (Kingdom of the New Granada, Nueva Granada), now mainly modern-day Colombia and which had originally been within the Viceroyalty of Peru. Ordained in 1616, Claver laboured unceasingly for the salvation of the African slaves and for the abolition of the slave trade. He personally baptised on board ship around 300,000 people in groups of 10 and heard the confessions of over 5,000 slaves each year, many of them brought from West Africa. He is considered an heroic example of what should be the Christian praxis of love and of the exercise of human rights. He also ministered to well-to-do members of society, traders and Muslim and English Protestant visitors. Claver died on 8 September 1654 in Cartagena and all his possessions were stripped away as relics. Although previously considered a nuisance by the city magistrates, he was given a public funeral and buried with pomp and ceremony in the Santuario de San Pedro Claver in Cartagena. Venerated in Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Major shrine Church of Saint Peter Claver, Cartagena, Colombia. The Congress of the Republic of Colombia declared 9 September Human Rights National Day in his honour. Patron saint of slaves, the Republic of Colombia, the ministry to African Americans, the missions to African people, race relations and seafarers. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.
Prayer Lord, for love of You, St Peter Claver was the faithful servant of slaves. Help us to see the true dignity of the human family, who are all children of one Father, and to spend ourselves for their salvation. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. Amen