Frederic Ozanam and the Establishment of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (05)

Francisco Javier Fernández ChentoFrédéric Ozanam, Society of Saint Vincent de PaulLeave a Comment

Author: Archibald J. Dunn · Year of first publication: 1877 · Source: Reprinted by R&T Washbourne Ltd. in 1913.
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Chapter V: The Centenary celebrations in Paris and Manchester

A Centenary Celebration in the honour of Frederic Ozanam was solemnly held at Paris. It was an international meeting, and was attended by repre­sentatives of the Conferences of the Society from all parts of the world. The 5,000 members of the Society in Paris were joined by 1,356 from the provinces and abroad. Cardinal Vincent Vannutelli, who was sent by the Holy Father as Papal Legate to attend the Centenary, arrived at Paris on April 23, 1913, accompanied by his suite. On the same day he received the President and the members of the Council-General of the Society, and expressed his satisfaction at having been chosen to preside at the Centenary festivities to celebrate the memory of a great apostle of Truth and Charity. The Holy Father’s words in sending him were: “Ozanam is one of the men who have most honoured Christ in the poor; is it not therefore right that the Pope, Christ’s representative on earth, should honour him in his turn ?”

The first meeting was held at the Catholic Institute, under the Presidency of the Right Rev. Monsignor Baudrillart, the Rector, and was attended by the members of the Council-General and a vast con­course of the brothers.

On Saturday, at the Church of the Carmelites, Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Baudrillart in the presence of the Cardinal Legate, the Cardinals of Paris, Rheims, and the Bishops attending. Holy Communion was given to 3,000 of the members present. An eloquent sermon upon the principle of Charity was preached by His Eminence Cardinal Lugon.

After the Mass, the Cardinals, accompanied by the Bishops, the members of the Council-General, and the representatives of Ozanam’s family, descended to the crypt, where lie the remains of Frederic Ozanam. Prayers having been recited, the Cardinal Legate blessed the monument which has been erected to the memory of their founder by generous subscriptions from the Conferences of the Society throughout the world. The mausoleum, which rests between two pillars decorated with palms, is surmounted by a pendant in which Ozanam’s profile is depicted in a medallion. The whole effect is solemn and religious, and the work is carefully carried out.

At the International General Meeting the Cardinal Legate presided, attended by the Cardinals Arch­bishops of Paris and Rheims; the Archbishop of Sens; the Bishops of Amiens, Clermont, Troyes, Aire, Meaux, Moulins; Monsignor Baudrillart; the Abb6 Ozanam, nephew of Frederic Ozanam; Messrs. Laporte, son-in-law and grandson of Ozanam; the Marquis de Vogu6, Comte d’Haussonville, and the Presidents of many Paris charities.

After reading the customary prayers, Cardinal Vannutelli handed to the Secretary-General the following letter from the Holy Father:

To our Venerable Brother Vincent Vannu­telli, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Bishop of Palestrina.


Esteemed Brother,—Health and Apostolic Benediction.

We have learned that in a short time, a century having passed since the birth of Anthony Frederic Ozanam, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is pre­paring to celebrate the memory of this great man by a solemn commemoration. We greatly approve of such a project, and very willingly We shall act so as to make those celebrations yet more solemn by Our participation therein. In fact, We not only find it right to honour the name of him who devoted his entire life (too short, alas!) to prove by his writings and deeds the salutary efficaciousness of the Catholic Faith, so much so that he has been ranked among the most distinguished champions of Christian science; but neither do We wish to let the present opportunity escape, without asserting once more how much we are in favour of the work called the Conferences, of which Ozanam is rightly considered the principal founder. This Association, which is exclusively devoted to works of Christian Charity, and which so justly claims for itself the name and protection of St. Vincent de Paul, cannot fail to win admiration for the shortness of the time in which it has been everywhere propagated, and for the profit it has brought to all. Scarcely had Our beloved Ozanam, with a few companions actuated by the same spirit and zeal, sown its seeds, than it firmly planted its roots, and that, more promptly than people could have supposed, it grew up into a large and widespreading tree, extending its branches over the country, a development in harmony with the genius of the French nation, which no other race surpasses in activity or fecundity in undertakings calculated to promote religion. At the present time, this work of the Conferences, spread afar over the whole universe, is most useful, not only to the multi­tude of indigent poor, whom it provides with prac­tical relief, both for the present life and for the world to come, but also to the members themselves, whom it trains admirably in sanctification by means of different works of Christian charity.

These considerations are quite sufficient to cause Us to be among the first to take part in the celebra­tions which are in preparation, and to make Us wish that the honours paid to so deserving a personage may develop among men a knowledge and a liking for his work. Assuredly, in the present great up­heaval of all things, the result of false doctrines and of the licence of wicked desires, it would be extremely useful to civil society if those who are trying to give it a Christian discipline would take Ozanam for their master and guide. Accordingly, you must implore God for an ever-increasing extension of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, in order that it may propa­gate in all directions, even in the most remote regions, the salutary practices for which it is indebted to its founder.

Furthermore, in the meeting which the delegates of the Conferences are about to hold in Paris, at the headquarters of the Council-General, we wish to have someone to interpret these wishes of Our inmost heart. For this purpose We see no person more fit to receive such a mission than the Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, who has for the past twenty years been Protector of the said Society on behalf of the Apostolic See, who participates in its works, and very actively promotes its enterprises.

Accordingly, it is you, esteemed brother, whom We send as Our Legate, to express in Our name, at this assembly the sentiments We show to you by the present letter. You will also bear the Apostolic blessing, pledge of heavenly favours, to the Council- General, to the other members who, as We have just said, will be at that meeting, to all those whom the Society of St. Vincent de Paul unites together as members, or assists as poor people; to all the dis­tinguished men, either the clergy, or the faithful, who shall have contributed in any way to enhance the said celebrations. And this blessing We give to you first of all most affectionately, esteemed brother.

Given at Rome, near St. Peter’s, on the day of the Feast of Easter, in the year 1913, tenth of Our Pontificate.

Pius X., Pope.

Eloquent panegyrics upon Ozanam were then delivered by His Eminence Cardinal Vannutelli, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris, and by M. Calon, President-General of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who read out a telegram of thanksgiving which he was sending to Cardinal Merry del Val.

After a solemn blessing to the brothers of the Society by Cardinal Vannutelli, the meeting broke up. At a subsequent meeting important papers were read upon the commencement of the Society in Italy by a member of the Superior Council there, and in Belgium by the President of the Superior Council at Brussels.

The national centenary celebrations of the birth of Frederic Ozanam, the founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, took place in Manchester on May 30, 1913. Although celebrations of inter­national character were held in Paris at Easter, the English Conferences, desirous of marking the festival on English soil, called on the brothers to rally at Manchester, which was considered the town most centrally situated. The Cardinal-Archblshop of Westminster, the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Bishop of Salford, other members of the Hierarchy, and brothers from all over the country participated in the rejoicings. The dominant note of the three days’ proceedings was struck by the Cardinal’s thrilling appeal to the Catholic young men of England to take up the noble work begun by Ozanam. The deliberations of the conferences generally should prove of practical value. The Cardinal’s suggestion that the brothers should supervise the emigration of Catholic grown-up men, and the Archbishop of Liverpool’s question as to whether the brothers could not enlarge the scope of their activities for the poor by becoming pawnbrokers and money-lenders, have been eagerly discussed. Brother A. Carey, who described the attitude of the society to the Liverpool education authority’s scheme for the after-care of school-children, contributed a short but pregnant speech, which will doubtless greatly influence Conferences all over the country when they are fronted—as is likely they soon will be by the same problem.

The proceedings opened on Friday night with a large informal gathering in the Grand Hotel, to welcome the visitors. The Bishops of Salford, Sebastopolis, and Teos were present, and the former gave a short address of welcome. A programme of music was arranged for the occasion.

On Saturday morning, at eleven o’clock, a solemn High Mass of Requiem was celebrated in St. John’s Cathedral, Salford, by his Lordship, Bishop Vaughan.


A great meeting was held on Saturday afternoon in St. Patrick’s Hall. Long before the hour appointed, a great concourse of people lined the thoroughfares leading to St. Patrick’s presbytery. The interior of the hall was gaily decorated with flags and plants, whilst a large banner in the centre had inscribed upon it “Welcome to our Cardinal.”

His Eminence presided at the meeting, and was supported on the platform by the Bishop of Salford, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Bishop Hanlon, Bishop Butt, Bishop McIntyre, Monsignor Canon O’Kelly, V.G., Very Rev. Father Joseph P. Bannin, P.S.M., Canon Sharrock, Rev. Fathers Wookey and Thomas Walsh, Alderman D. McCabe, J.P., Councillor Charles Egan, etc.

The Superior Council, in the absence of the President, Sir John Knill, Bart., was represented by Brother

F. A. R. Langton, Vice-President, Hon. A. E. Bingham, and Leonard C. Lindsay, Secretary. There were also present: Brother C. Hadfield (President of the Sheffield Council), Brother C. J. Munich, K.S.G. (London), Brother C. E. Marchall (President of the Manchester Central Council), Brother James Reynolds, P.L.G. (Treasurer of the Manchester Council), Brother James Connor (Secretary of the Manchester Council), and Brother J. Rossall.

Father Bannin opened the proceedings with prayer, after which Father Wookey gave a spiritual reading.

His Eminence the Cardinal read the following:

Telegram to the Holy Father.

“Cardinal Merry del Val, Vatican, Rome. National Ozanam Celebration in Manchester, seven Bishops present, with members of Society of St. Vincent de Paul, offers homage to His Holiness, rejoices at his recovery, begs his blessing for themselves, benefactors, and the poor” (loud applause).

The Bishop of Salford’s Welcome.

The Bishop of Salford then said : “The task that has been assigned to me this afternoon is an entirely delight­ful one. It is one which I won’t say is a duty, but is a very great privilege. It is the task of welcoming the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, not only those belonging to this county, not only those belonging to this diocese, but to the whole of England—of welcoming them to our city in order that we may celebrate the centenary of their chief founder, the great Frederic Ozanam. When I was approached some months ago with a request from the Central Council in London that the National English

Celebration of this Centenary should take place in Manchester, I need not tell you, I am sure, I felt highly flattered, and I felt, and I am sure all the Manchester brothers felt, complimented that our city should have been selected as the central point to honour the memory of Ozanam.

“I am sorry,” Dr. Casartelli proceeded, “his Grace the Archbishop of Liverpool is not here this afternoon, because I should have liked to have quoted to him what one of our leading Manchester daily newspapers stated this morning in explanation of why Manchester had been chosen for this honour. It says: ‘Because Manchester is the chief city of the most Catholic county in England.’ I think this a most intelligent remark, and I have no doubt that this is the opinion of the Central Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul also, because if it is not, I cannot understand why they should have shown us this honour. In my own name, as Bishop of this diocese, in the name of my clergy, and in the name of the brothers of the local Conferences, I offer you all a most hearty and sincere welcome to this our city.”

Dr. Casartelli proceeded to say that it was very gratify­ing to think that their visit to the city of Manchester was not unwelcome to their fellow-citizens at large. The Lord Mayor had most kindly and most cordially entered into that welcome, and had thrown open the Town Hall in honour of the brothers and their friends.

The Early History of the Society in England.

A paper written by Brother Archibald J. Dunn, on “The Early History of the Society in England,” was read in that gentleman’s absence by Brother Lindsay.

The first beginnings of the Society in this country were due, under God, to George Jonas Wigley, a Lancashire man, who was born in Manchester in the year 1825. His father and mother having died while he was still a child, his aunt, Miss Wigley, took him to France and had him educated at the school established by Mon- seigneur Haffreingue in Boulogne. Later he was sent to Stonyhurst College, which he entered in the year 1837. Finishing his studies there, he returned to Paris and entered the “Ecole des Beaux Arts” to study for his chosen profession of architect. Here he joined a group of young men, fervent Catholics, who attended the lectures at the Sorbonne of Professor Frederic Ozanam, who was at that time delivering a course on the “History of Civilization in the Fifth Century.” These lectures attracted much public attention, and were furiously attacked in the anti-clerical Press. Large numbers of students from the University attended the lectures with the object of shouting down the Professor and disturbing the audience; for the followers of Rousseau and Voltaire realized that Ozanam was destroying the foundation upon which all their anti-Catholic theories had been based. In 1833 Ozanam proposed the formation of a Conference for the purpose of visiting the poor in their own homes, and seven young men at once volunteered to join him. The Archbishop of Paris warmly approved of the project, and gave it his blessing. Thus was established the first Conference of the S. V. P. The rules had been drawn up with French precision, and Wigley translated them into English. He sent them to his friend, Frederick Lucas, and urged upon him to establish

a Conference of the Society in London. Wigley, as soon as he had taken his diploma as an architect, returned to London to practise his profession. Eventually, having already watched the progress of the Society in France, Wigley called upon Bishop Griffiths, in London, the Vicar-Apostolic of the London district at the time, and sought his interest. The Bishop warmly approved of the proposal, and invited several prominent and influential Catholics to meet and establish the Society. Wigley acted as provisional secretary. Mr. Fred Lucas was elected the first president, but on his refusal, Mr. Pag­liano was offered and accepted the post. This was in the year 1844. The London conference was affiliated to that in Paris, and the rules of the English Society were printed, and the work commenced at Mr. Pagliano’s Hotel, the Sablonfere, in Leicester Square. In 1848 Wigley repaired to Paris to help Brother Ozanam in the trying times of the Revolution, and they were both witnesses to the death of the saintly Arch­bishop of Paris, who was shot down in the streets. When the Revolution was ended Wigley went to Rome, and was created by Pius IX. a Knight of St. Sylvester, as a reward for his services to the Church. Returning later to England, Brother Wigley entered actively into the work of the Society, joining the Confer­ence of Warwick Street, London. “I first met Brother Wigley,” writes the author of this paper, “at meetings of the London Council in 1857. The president then was Brother George Blount, and the other members were Brothers Renfric and Henry Arundell, J. Sidney Lescher, Charles Corney, John Stuart Knill, John St. Lawrence, S- J. Nicholl, J. J. H. Saint, Hubert Jerningham, and George Wigley, who was foreign secretary.” The paper next reviewed Wigley’s incursions into Catholic journalism, at the request of Cardinal Wiseman, and also his great work (again with the Society at his back) as secretary of the St. Peter’s Pence Association—an organization which assisted the Pope financially in the period following the Italian Revolution. This Society, which owed its inception to Wigley, was a success, as much as ^300 per month being sent to Rome. Poor Wigley eventually died of fever in Italy, contracted through attending a fever-stricken sailor. He was an Oriental scholar, and had the reputation of understanding seventeen languages, always a most amiable and kind- hearted man, but very unconventional. He was very proud of being a “Lancashire lad,” and prophesied that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul would flourish more in the North than in the South of England.

In the discussion which followed, Father Wookey asked whether the prophecy of Brother Wigley had as yet been fulfilled. If the reply was in the negative, was it not time they made a start to see to its fulfil­ment?

Father Bannin, who has charge of the Italian parish in London, disputed the claim that the initiative of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in this country was altogether due to Brother Wigley. On behalf of the Italians, the Reverend speaker claimed that Ozanam was born in Milan, and was, therefore, an Italian. Brother Wigley was a cosmopolitan. His family now resided in Milan; he died in Rome; and he was a man who spoke almost every language upon the earth except his own mother tongue. In fact, he was half Manchester and half Italian. Father Bannin also maintained that Brother Pagliano, an Italian, was the first president of any English Conference.

Father Bannin concluded by saying that the Society might yet hope to see Frederic Ozanam, although a lay­man, upon the altars of the Church. There was no reason why the cause of his Beatification should not go on. He asked them all to pray unceasingly that Frederic Ozanam might soon be found worthy of that great honour and dignity (applause).

Brother C. E. Marshall (president of the Manchester Council), in the course of an address, said he had suggested to the Superior Council that the Society should take charge in some way or other of the Catholic emigrants leaving this country. They knew that there were a great number year by year who left these shores for the Colonies, and they heard from brothers in various parts that Catholics, or at least many of them, who emigrated, were led astray, either on the voyage or just after landing. Mr. Marshall submitted that the local branches should ascertain all possible particulars about intending emigrants, and keep the London Council fully posted up. The Superior Council would then know what Catholic emigrants would be on board a particular steamer, and a chaplain and other Catholics travelling on the same steamer might be asked to interest themselves in the emigrants. By these means Catholics would get to know one another on the voyage, and therein safe­guards to many would be assured. The names of the emigrants and all particulars could be sent to the various ports in the Colonies, where the brothers would meet the steamers.

His Eminence Cardinal Bourne stated that at the present time the North had as many as 2,812 members, and the South 3,011. When they came to analyze them, however, they would find that in the North there were 2,089 active members, and in the South 1,731. In the North again, there were 725 honorary members and in the South 1,276. So they would see that there was plenty of room for development both in the North and South. In congratulating Mr. Archibald Dunn on his interesting paper concerning the early days of the Society in England, the Cardinal said that names were mentioned in that account, the memories of which ought certainly never to be lost in this country. Men such as Bishop Griffiths, who welcomed the Society, and Frederick Lucas, who did untold good for the Church in this country, vigorously—some­times, perhaps, too vigorously—but who certainly did an immense work for the Church of God as editor of the Tablet. And the next was Brother Wigley, whose name was almost forgotten. The account given to them, proceeded his Eminence, was of special interest to him­self. It brought back the fact to their minds that in the early days their Society in England was known as the Brotherhood of St. Vincent de Paul. One of the early Conferences was founded at St. Edmund’s College, Old Hall, Ware, and that Conference survived to this day. He himself was a member of it, and it had always been known in that College as the Brotherhood of St. Vincent de Paul. And in alluding to that fact he would like to express the hope and the wish that, whatever the name of the Society might be, it might always be permeated by that spirit of brotherhood which it had had from the beginning.

No suggestion, continued the Cardinal, that had been made at any recent meeting of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul appeared to him more worthy of attention than that regarding emigration. This question of the care of their emigrants was a very pressing one indeed. All their various Rescue Societies had been coalesced into a Catholic Emigration Society, and considerable provision had thus been made for the emigration of boys and girls to Canada, but no such provision had, as far as he knew, been made in connection with other parts of the British Empire. Until a short time ago no provision even for women emigrating to Canada existed, but now, thanks to the efforts of the Catholic Women’s League, due provision had been made. A hostel had been started in Liverpool by them, and Catholic women, who intended going to Canada, would have the opportunity, if they cared to avail themselves of it, of emigrating under Catholic auspices. But, so far as he knew, there were no pro­visions whatever for Catholic grown-up men going out anywhere under the auspices of any Catholic Society; they had no provision for the emigration of Catholics, whether men or women, boys or girls, to any other part of the world. He had been speaking lately to the recently appointed Bishop of Calgary, and the feeling was expressed that the great thing was, if possible, to get Catholics to emigrate to some centre where Catholics already resided in numbers, or failing that to get their people to emigrate in groups and form a settlement in the new Canadian countries. If Catholics in twos and threes settled in places where Catholics were not numerous, they were in great danger of being very easily absorbed into non-Catholic communities around them. In many places there was no Catholic church at all, whilst the nearest priest obtainable was some fifty miles away. The churches in these rising townships in Western Canada were, as everywhere else, the centres of social intercourse on Sundays. People came in from farms situated sometimes at great distances, and, for the sake of social intimacy, drifted towards the Episcopalian, the Presbyterian, or the Wesleyan chapels. If Catholic emigrants could be persuaded by Catholic Societies to go either to those places where Catholics already existed in numbers, or arrange to emigrate in groups and start a Catholic centre, not only would they be protected to a large extent against the loss of their own faith, but they would be the means of building up the Catholic Church in Canada. All the Bishops in the Western parts of Canada were of the same opinion. They had no Society whatever to look after the men of their Faith who emigrated, so if the Society of St. Vincent de Paul would take in hand this duty, with that devotedness, earnest­ness, and world-wide charity known to them, he did not know of any greater work of charity that could be com­mitted to their care.

His Eminence spoke also of the emigration to New Zealand and Australia. In the former country Catholics had representation on a committee that was formed for dealing with emigrants, but they had no Catholic Society to deal with boys and young men who wished to go to Australia. The field out there for emigrants was simply enormous, and the area was almost inconceivable. He was speaking the other day to the Catholic Bishop of Perth, Western Australia, who told him that, when he wished to visit certain parts of his vast diocese, he had to undertake a journey necessitating a sea passage of four whole days. The day must come, sooner or later, his Eminence concluded, when they would find that Catholics would be setting their faces in the direction of emigration to Australia, and it was, therefore, very important indeed that some organization should be set on foot to deal with it, and with all his heart he welcomed the suggestion of Brother Marshall, and trusted that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul would be able to put it into practice as soon as possible.



The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor of Manchester (Mr. H. W. Royse) had intended to hold a reception at the Town Hall on Saturday evening, to welcome His Eminence the Cardinal, the Bishops, and the visiting brothers of the Society. As many as 1,200 invitations were sent out. His Lordship, owing to an unfortunate indisposition, was prevented at the last moment from attending the function, and his place was taken by the Lady Mayoress and Dr. Fraser and Mrs. Fraser. The reception—unique so far as Manchester is concerned—was a brilliant affair.


Cardinal Bourne presided over the mass meeting of the delegates and the general body of Manchester Catholics, held in the Free Trade Hall, on Sunday after­noon. His Eminence was accompanied on the platform by the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Bishop of Salford, Bishops McIntyre, Hanlon, and Vaughan, Mgr. Canon O’Kelly, V.G., Mgr. Jackman, D.D., the Mayor of Battersea (Brother T. Brogan), and a representative body of clergy and laity.

The Mayor of Battersea, who delivered an eloquent address, said that the brothers were fighting together for the great common cause for the common good of the common people. Europe was an armed camp. The Cross and the Crescent had again been in conflict, and thousands of the dead were lying unburied on the battle­fields of the Near East. In the factory, in the work­shop, in the office, the brothers of St. Vincent de Paul had to preach the great lesson of Christian charity their great Founder had implanted in their hearts. They had to spread the noble gospel that the great work of life was not to destroy life, but to preserve it. They had to show to the world that the spirit of Frederic Ozanam was alive in their hearts to-day, and that it was growing up a great, powerful, dominant force, which would eventually make England a better England, the Empire a better Empire, and the world a better world. But there was other work than this—work nearer to hand and, perhaps, more easy of immediate accomplishment. In the richest country of the world, with the wealth of the world pouring into her coffers—in a land as beautiful as a poet’s dream, with a soil as fruitful as God’s own love, with a climate as sweet as a mother’s smile, and teeming with inexhaustible mineral wealth, there were thousands perishing of hunger and starvation. Proceed­ing, his Worship alluded to the Mayoral reception of the previous evening in the greatest industrial beehive in all the world. That was a proof, he declared, that Catholicity was at last coming into her own again in England. People were finding out that Catholics, after all, did a little bit for the poor, although they did not proclaim it from the housetops. There were people who did not know of the tremendous amount of money

Catholics saved the State every year in the poor-rate by looking after their own poor. There were those who did not realize—until it came to an education fight—that Catholics saved the State millions every year by edu­cating their own children. The Catholic Church was the greatest factor in the world for the training and building up of moral character, the greatest factor in the world for looking after the poor, and the greatest factor in the world for the education of children.

Cardinal Bourne said that Bishop McIntyre’s eloquent sermon and the Mayor of Battersea’s address had suggested two thoughts to his mind. The first was that, when the founders of the St. Vincent de Paul Society began their work sixty years ago, they certainly never foresaw the developments the work would attain. As far as France was concerned, the present generation had great reason to be thankful to Almighty God that what Ozanam wrote seventy years ago would not be true to­day. There had been progress, and there had been progress all along the line, and it was only by looking back over a long period of years that they could realize that those forces of evil which were so powerful seventy years ago had certainly been weakened very consider­ably in the time that had elapsed. And he thought that, whilst they must not shut their eyes to the evils that surrounded them, it would be unworthy of them, and derogatory also to the honour and glory of God, were they not fully to recognize the things that had been accomplished by Divine grace. Here in England in those sixty years, his Eminence proceeded, the Catholic Church had certainly gained a power and position and influence—an influence for the exercise of charity that was not given to her hitherto. The second thought was this, the Cardinal went on : Had the Society of St. Vincent de Paul here in England made the progress it ought to have made in the last sixty years ? Sixty years ago, or a little over sixty years ago, at the time of the introduction of the Society into this country, the ecclesiastical hierarchy of England had not been restored, and progress was hindered in many directions. But since then Catholics had seen a remarkable growth in the number of their Bishops and clergy, in the number of religious houses, charitable institutions, churches, schools, and the children attending those schools. That progress had been very great indeed. He did not say it had been more than they might have hoped for, but it had been more than was hoped for sixty years ago. While it had certainly been great, it might have been greater. How had things gone with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul ? When they recognized that there were in this country something between 5,000 or 6,000 members of the Society, he was sure they must recognize also that despite its magnificent aims the progress had not been what it ought to have been. He did not like to sound a note of sadness or a note of criticism in the midst of the celebrations, but if they wanted to do better in the future it was only right to see whether or not they had done as well as they might have done in the past. “Your work,” his Eminence pointed out, “is a work for laymen, and especially for young laymen. I say that with special emphasis to-day, because, to our very great regret, it is brought home to us that some of the older members who have stood in the forefront and been your leaders in the past are absent from these celebrations by reason of years and failing health, and their absence is a call for the young men to step into the ranks and take their places. Men like Brother Count Torre Diaz, Brother Hemelryk, and Brother President Sir John Knijl —although Sir John is a younger man—gladly though they would have come, are not here to-day, simply and solely because ill-health prevented them. Their absence brings home with special force the fact that with the older workers falling out and passing to their reward, it is to the young men we must look to carry on the work of the Society.”

What was the inspiring motive that, amongst other things, led Frederic Ozanam to begin his work? He saw young men round about him on whatever side attacked, as all young men are to some extent, and always will be, and are especially at the present day— attacked by those incitements to scepticism and to loss of virtue which are always amongst the most potent causes of the leakages we so constantly deplore. We must not shut our eyes to these facts. At the present day, when young men enter on life, equipped perhaps only with such religious instruction as they have been able to obtain in our elementary schools, they are met in the office and workshop by other young men who, in a few specious words, are able to put before them objec­tions which seem to strike at the very root of Catholic Faith. It is always easy to make objections; it is always easy for the flippant and the superficial to catch up an objection out of some sixpenny handbook, and then hurl it at the head of the Catholic young man, who not infrequently, having present to his mind no complete and adequate answer, is sometimes apt to forget that when he is dealing with the things of Almighty God, he is often dealing with matters of mystery, which, taken by themselves, have to be looked at with the eye of faith, although, regarded in their connection with the Christian revelation* the eye of reason can find no flaw in them. If such a young man is not careful, and does not watch over himself, he may be brought to the threshold of the loss of his soul. We know that this is going on: Ozanam in his day knew it was going on. What did he do ? He said to these young men : “Get to know the real conditions of life. Go amongst the poor. See their lives, understand their difficulties; and then ask your­selves whether it is not the revelation of Jesus Christ alone that can answer the questions of those sorely stricken hearts ?” He put them in the way of overcoming the difficulties urged upon them, not by direct answer, but by showing them that the problems of life, which many men, and especially young men, feel so acutely, cannot be solved by the specious theories of the objector but can be solved only by the Gospel which God has given to us. Then we know how many are led astray by the uprising vices which attack them in early manhood. They pass from the practice of their religion because their hearts are in a turmoil of confusion by the unruled and unruly affections that afflict them. To such young men in his day Frederic Ozanam said: “Go down amongst the poor and see their sufferings, and help them. In that self-sacrifice you will find the very elements that will enable you to govern your own poor faltering hearts.” From that point of view alone, his Eminence went on to declare, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was a necessity to the Catholic young men of to-day. If a young man wished to keep bright and clear his Faith, if he wished to preserve unsullied and unspotted his virtue, there was no surer way than by becoming a devoted and earnest member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Did they ask how they might better understand what should be the work of the Society in England, he would answer that the only way was to go back to those principles upon which the Society was built up.

Call for Personal Service.

They must begin by remembering that the Society was not a mere relieving society. What their founder called upon them to do was to give personal service to the poor in every way they could. Very often the best and most potent service they could render was what any man with a heart could give, even if he had not a penny in his pocket. Men and women there were to-day amongst the poor who were crushed to the very heart, and could not look up to Heaven because they were so heavily laden, and the man who went amongst them, and could say a kind word, would lift up their hearts to higher things and make them look with confidence for a better day—such a one was a true brother of St. Vincent de Paul, even though he never gave a sixpence. The young men round Frederic Ozanam had, no doubt, very little indeed to give. They were students of law, doctors just beginning to practise, men in different walks of life, and what Ozanam asked of them was to give freely of personal service, each using the individual talents of his profession. In every position of life to-day there were men who were able to give of their fuller knowledge of some particular department of life, which would be of help and guidance to the poor they visited. He feared that a good many young men were held back from joining the Society because they had nothing to give. Let them understand that it was not money, but personal service that was required. The Cardinal next suggested that if the Society was to increase and spread it must be governed by loyalty to the traditions of its founder and a spirit of progress that moved along traditional lines. Many things existed to-day which did not exist in the days of Frederic Ozanam: many problems were before them which Ozanam could not foresee. But the Society must not set those things aside as unworthy of their attention ; they must not with­draw from the consideration of those problems simply because Ozanam did not know them. Let them be filled with his spirit, and when in their work there arose some­thing needing to be done, which no one was doing and no one was prepared to do; when some problem faced them which needed tackling, and was not being tackled— let them ask themselves whether it might not be that the very spirit, the very vitality, and the very principles of Frederic Ozanam urged them to take that work in hand. An instance of a work that required attending to, and to which no one, so far as he knew, had as yet attempted to attend, was that of superintending the emigration of Catholic grown-up men. The organization of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was represented all over the world, and probably no other organization could take the work in hand with such prospect of success.

Catholic Women’s League and the Catenian Association.

“He trusted that it would not be taken amiss if he alluded to the work of the Catholic Women’s League. One of the secrets of the success of the Women’s League was that its members had so readily accepted local condi­tions, and tried to do work that had to be done, and that no one else would do. He had also heard recently, and with very great satisfaction, of the formation of a new

Catholic Society, which he believed had taken its birth in Manchester. He referred to the Catenian Association. This association banded together a large number of Catholic business and professional men in all parts of the country, and he hoped that it would be very useful to its members in their worldly concerns and the advancement of their children. But he would ask the members of the association with all earnestness to devote their energy and some part of their leisure time to the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. And if God had blessed them with sons, he would remind them that there was no greater advantage they could bestow upon their sons in their early manhood than that of letting them join the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.”

The Archbishop of Liverpool said that he had more poor in his diocese than had any of the Bishops present. The poor, his Grace went on, as the Brothers well knew, appreciated sympathy far more than material assistance. Proceeding, his Grace raised the question of patronage work, which, he said, was rather differently conducted in different parts of the country. Through the co-operation of the Bishop of Salford, the Brothers of the whole of Lancashire had an annual meeting to discuss that and other phases of their work, with the greatest benefit. He recommended the practice as one that might be taken up with advantage all over the country.

Continuing, his Grace remarked that the poor had two great friends. One was the pawnshop, and the other, also a deadly enemy, was the money-lender. He had often wondered when he thought of the mont de piete of the Catholic countries on the Continent, whether it would not be possible for the Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul to take up a somewhat similar work. In other words, could the Brothers run a pawnshop ? Money-lending was another subject he thought they might tackle. The clergy and people had made a start in Liverpool in one of the poorest Catholic parishes, and the movement, though at present only on a small scale, inspired the hope that it was going to be a success. The great port of Liverpool, with its sea-going population, was obsessed by the demon of casual labour, and, as a result, by the curse of money- lending. The wives of the seamen, through no fault of their own, could not make ends meet, owing to the long intervals between their husbands’ pay-days. If the Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul could devise some means of helping these poor and deserving women, incalculable benefits would be the result. Could the Brothers become money-lenders—beneficent money-lenders ?

The After-Care of Children.

Brother Carey, who represented Brother Hemelryk, K.C.S.G., O.R.S., President of the Liverpool Central Council, alluded to the scheme for the after-care of children which has been devised by the Liverpool Educa­tion Authority. The authorities, the speaker pointed out, wished to entrust the scheme, so far as was possible, to voluntary workers. Considering the interests involved, and the influence that such voluntary workers would naturally gain in the households they visited, it was extremely desirable—more than that, absolutely necessary —that none but a Catholic should visit a Catholic family. The scheme, which, he believed, would later on be adopted all over the country, had been carefully discussed by the Brothers in Liverpool a few days ago, as they were con­vinced that it was a case in which their activities would be of very special value. It had been decided that they

should accept the principle of the scheme, but only subject to certain conditions and with certain reservations as to detail. One of those reservations was that under no circumstances should the Brothers undertake duties which would cause the poor to look on them as officials. Another was that they should not be required to divulge information which had been given to them in confidence.

The Bishop of Salford, in moving a vote of thanks to the Cardinal, the Archbishop, the Bishops, the Mayor of Battersea, and Brother Carey, said that never before in the history of Manchester had a Catholic gathering received such honour at the hands of the municipal authorities. He could not sufficiently express the grati­tude and admiration felt by Catholics for the gracious and charming manner in which the Lady Mayoress had welcomed the delegates at the civic reception the previous evening. His lordship also expressed the hope that there would be a great influx of new blood into the Society. Zealous recruiting work, he was convinced, would result in the Society having a membership not of 6,000, but of

60,0 at the end of twelve months.


On Sunday evening, 750 guests sat down to dinner in the Midland Hotel. The President of the Manchester Particular Council (Mr. C. E. Marshall) presided, having on his right his Eminence Cardinal Bourne and on his left his Grace the Archbishop of Liverpool. There were also present the Bishop of Salford, Bishop Vaughan, Bishop McIntyre, Bishop Butt, Bishop Hanlon, Monsignor O’Kelly, V.G., Monsignor Poock, D.D., Canon Sharrock, Monsignor Jackman, D.D., Father Bader, S.J., Rev.

Dr. Hohn, Rev. F. Gonne, M.A., Rev. T. McNulty M.A., etc.

During the evening Cardinal Bourne read a telegram from the Holy Father conveying his blessing to all who had taken part in the celebration.


“By charity of the Spirit serve one another.”—Gal. v. 13.

If Frederic Ozanam’s life is judged only by its duration, it will seem an unfinished and broken life, for he died a comparatively young man; but if it is judged by its intensity, it will be found a full and well-rounded life. He began to put forth his intellectual strength even in early youth, and that strength was recognized by the most brilliant and noted men of France, some of whom have left their testimony to the precocity of his genius, the power of his understanding, and his admirable moral qualities. Much has been written of him, because there was much to tell of his extraordinary talents, and of his activities as student, as historian, as man of letters, as social reformer, and as Christian apologist. Interest, too, would be found in the accounts left to us of his beautifully winning character—his urbanity and pleasantness, his gentleness and courtesy. A contemporary said of him: “He takes away your heart and gives you his own.” It would be interesting to speak of these things, but at present we are more concerned in those things which have won for him a world-wide reverence—his warm charity, his unfailing tenderness for the afflicted and his devotedness of service to them, all of which have found permanent expression in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Therefore, laying all else aside, I propose to speak only of what has reference to your Society. I will try, first of all, to set before you the circumstances out of which the thought came to him which afterwards grew into the Society of St. Vincent, and, next, I will try to describe the broad and lofty motives which inspired his labours in building up the Society. From that descrip­tion you will see that there was a moral unity binding together all the activities of Ozanam’s life. They sprang from one chief motive, and were directed to one chief end. I trust that even my imperfect account of these things may be received by you with such good-will that every brother will return from this celebration resolved to love the Society more, and to labour more for its advance.

The main portion of Ozanam’s life fell in troubled and dangerous times. He was seventeen years of age when the Revolution of 1830, overturning the throne of Charles X., began to gather further strength for the greater Revolution of 1848. The King in his fall seemed to pull down with him the power and influence of the Church of France. The forces of private thought, as well as those of public life, began to be directed in bitterness against her. So completely did men become estranged from Religion, so utterly did they neglect its practice, that the sight of a man in church caused as great a sensation as the sight of a Christian traveller in an Oriental mosque. Priests were afraid to go in their ordinary dress along the public streets. What was proudly called intellectual enlightenment was regarded as having obtained so complete a triumph over the Faith that the very suggestion of the possibility of a revival was received with a general outburst of amused or contemptuous laughter. It was quite taken for granted that the Faith was dead, that now, at last, it really was dead and buried, and nothing further was required but that the philosophers, men of letters, and politicians should seal the stone of its sepulchre. Ozanam could not but feel the influences of the time, for who could altogether escape them ? Who was safe when a wild flood of thought was carrying away a whole population ? In early youth Ozanam found that the waves of doubt were rising about him and beginning to roll over his head; and although he was too strong to be pulled under, they nevertheless filled him with terror and caused him a struggle of bitter agony. His faith triumphed over every doubt, and the trial through which he had passed was providentially turned to good account. In the providence of God that assault on Ozanam’s faith became the occasion of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Ozanam had not only gained a deep insight into the nature of the intellectual malady that was infecting the mind of his countrymen, but he had also learned compassion for those who had been less fortunate than himself in escape from that malady. He wished to come to their assistance, and it was this “charity of the spirit” that prompted his first social efforts. This was a true charity of the spirit, for the spirit which is of God is a spirit of truth and faith as well as of consolation. Ozanam’s first apostolate was an apostolate of the mind. For the sake of this apostolate he determined to become a professor and writer; and to fit himself for the work he studied as much as sixteen and even eighteen hours a day. It is well to remember that his first conferences were started as a ministry of intellectual charity. His desire was to band studious young men together under the standard of Catholic thought; for, to use his own words, “our Faith always remains young, and as fully equipped for meeting the needs of every age as for healing the wounds of every soul.” But by the side of this first compassion there grew up another compassion in his heart; it was for the toiling masses, who were suffering loss of other things besides loss of Faith. A double misery was upon them; for not only were they exploited by employers, who forced from them the largest possible amount of labour for the smallest possible wage, but, moreover, while being thus robbed in this world, they were being deluded into giving up their hope of the next world. The thought of this double misery weighed upon Ozanam’s soul, and he formed a plan of getting others to join him in a noble crusade against the ignorance, the want, and the misery of the masses. The purposes that were running through his head were set forth in a kind of manifesto: “We are like the Samaritan of the Gospel,” he wrote. “We have seen society prostrate and astray from her true road, robbed and beaten as she has been by robbers of the under­standing. And the priest and the Levite who were pass­ing did not pass by; they drew near in kindness, but she, in her delirium, was afraid of them and resented their approach. We, therefore, whom she does not know, desire to come to her aid and to pour oil into her wounds. We would raise her from the dust, and place her, soothed and calmed, in the hands of the Church—of that Divine hostess who will give her food and guidance to complete her pilgrim journey to immortality.” You will observe, first, that telling phrase—”robbers of the understanding.” The mind of the people was being plundered of the treasure of truth. You will observe, next, that Ozanam’s remedy for the evils of society was, that society should be brought back and placed under the care and guidance of the Church. Further, that it should be brought back by laymen, for it had become afraid of the priest. In no other way could he see perfect deliverance. Now, the striking thing about this suggestion is that at that time Ozanam had not studied the history of the Church as he came to study it later, and was not in a position properly to appreciate the marvellous resources of the Church’s healing power. The fuller and clearer knowledge came later. Writing eight years later, in 1843, he said : “I have experienced how much we gain from a close study of Christianity. Certainly I was not ignorant of its benefits, but I have discovered that they have been far greater than I had ever imagined. More than ever do I feel how much we ought to love the Church, which has done so much to preserve us, to train us, and to make possible whatever we possess of learning, of intelligence, of liberty, and of civilization.” But although Ozanam had not yet learned all that he afterwards learned about the healing power of the Church, he already knew enough to perceive that the spirit and teaching of the Church would be more beneficial to society than the spirit and teaching of unbelieving social reformers; that the teaching of the Church not only contained all that there was of truth and value in the current schemes of social reform, but also preserved that truth free from the dangers and illusions of self-interest; and that even if the schemes of the social reformers were free from danger, they were still insufficient of themselves and stood in need of Catholic principle to bring about the triumph of peace as well as of justice. When Ozanam’s mind had grown mature in the study of the social question, he expressed his deep fears as to the dangers in the economic theories that were being proposed as a solution. They seemed to him to lead to a conflict of selfishness. It would be­come a system of strike and striking back. On the one side, there was the theory of free competition, and this tempted the employer to grow rich from the competition for employment among the workers; on the other side, there was the theory of a more equitable distribution, and he feared that in urging this the organizers of labour were in danger of exciting in the workers the same spirit of greed for which they condemned the” employers. This would be selfishness against selfishness; and men needed the Apostle’s warning: “If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed of one another.” Which ever side won, he thought that the victory could only bring a truce; it would not bring permanent peace. To secure perfect peace, he believed that men must learn from the Church not only a sincere love of justice, but also a love of that true and real brotherhood which they can find only in Christ. Peace and justice would reign when men had learned to respect in each other the image of God, and when they cherished that fellowship to which they are called in the Incarnate Son of God, the Redeemer of all. These are the judg­ments of his later years; but with a power of insight marvellous in a young man of twenty-three, he had written as early as the year 1836: “The question which now divides men is no longer a political question; it is a social question. The question is this : Which will pre­vail—the spirit of egoism or the spirit of sacrifice ? will society be exploited by the strong, or will it become the consecration of each for the good of all, and especially for the protection of the weak ? There are many who have too much, and who wish to have still more : there are many more who have not enough, who have nothing, and who wish to take if it is not given to them. Between these two classes a conflict is preparing, and it threatens to be a terrible one, for on the one side there will be the power of gold, and on the other the power of despair.” These words ring in our ears with all the clearness of actuality; but it is well to remember that the forecast was made by Ozanam seventy-seven years ago. He foresaw the danger, and he called upon Catholic young men to come with their Catholic principles to interpose between the two armies, and, if they could not prevent the conflict, at least try to lessen the shock. But even if economic systems were far more effective for good than hitherto they have proved to be, there would still remain open a wide field for the exercise of that “charity of the spirit” of which the Apostle speaks: “By charity of the spirit serve one another.” For after all is said and done, man is much more than a body with needs and appetites, and his inward peace comes from something higher than the mere contentment of bodily needs and appetites. There are heartaches and miseries of the soul, and sorrow may take hold of the spirit in the midst of material abundance. It was in the design of the Society of St. Vincent to pour the oil and balm of charity into the wounds of the soul also. This is a form of help which brings no hints of inferiority in the re­cipient, and cannot create any sense of shame in those who stand in need of it; rather, it elevates both giver and receiver, for it is a sign of their sacred union in that Divine charity which is the bond of perfection.

Meantime there is great need of the other forms of charity also. Politicians and economists have not yet succeeded in banishing from our midst bodily miseries and wretchedness, and the charitable work of alleviating them must still go on. In fact, the need of ministering to the afflicted in body has been so urgent that it holds a prominent place in the actual work of your Society. This was Ozanam’s final step in his vindication of the Church. When he spoke to the men of Paris in praise of the Church and in commendation of her power to heal the evils of society, it was said to him: “If you speak of the past, what you say is true. Christianity did do wonders, but now it is played out. What works are you doing to prove your faith and to make us respect and believe it ?” Ozanam felt the full force of the retort and resolved to remove further occasion for it. He said to his Catholic friends: “We must bestir ourselves, and make our action agree with our faith. Let us, therefore, turn to the assistance of the needy, and so put our faith under the protection of charity.’* In this you have the true motto of the Society—Faith under the protection of charity. The Society was created to be a vindication of the Church by the exercise of charity in the widest meaning of the word—charity for mind, charity for heart, charity for body, charity for the whole man— full and perfect service to our neighbour by charity of the spirit. The Society was intended to be a proof of the healing power of Christianity, a testimony before men of the truth and beneficence of the Church. Is that idea too ambitious ? Ozanam would have replied that no one can measure the power of charity; that he had no intention of grappling with the whole world, but that he could begin with a few of the poor and allow the work to grow by its own vitality, and to spread silently over the earth. And most wonderfully has it spread. Ozanam himself was indefatigable in labouring for it. Wherever he went, whether for study, or for holiday, or in search of health, he at once established a Con­ference. This he did in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and even here in England. I have read that to-day the Society counts 7,000 Conferences with more than 140,000 brothers. A Society which has already grown so strong gives reasonable hope of becoming a mighty power for good in the Church and in the world.

But the members must remain true to the noble and generous spirit of Ozanam, and hold fast to the faith that was in him, and which he commended to the brethren in his last will and testament: “I die in the bosom of the Church Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman. I have known the doubts of the age, but the whole of my life has convinced me that there is no rest for the mind and heart except in the Church and under her authority. If I attach any value to my prolonged studies it is because they give me the right to beseech all those whom I love that they remain faithful to a religion in which I found light and peace.”

O lofty-souled, noble-hearted young man, knowing you as we do, we are not surprised to hear the Vicar of Christ say: “I have no stronger wish than that the life and spirit of Frederic Ozanam should spread to the ends of the earth.” And you, brothers, here assembled, do you take those words of the Sovereign Pontiff not only as a wish, but also as a promise and a prophecy.

By Rev. H. Day, S.J.2

We are celebrating the occurrence of a centenary, he said, which reflects a world glory on the beliefs and practice, the faith and charity of the Catholic Church. The central figure of the picture it represents is a young man of the middle class, of Jewish descent, of delicate health, but, withal, of high intellectual capacity, and of supreme moral courage. His name is Frederic Ozanam : his calling that of a Professor of Literature at the famous University of the Sorbonne in Paris. The background of the picture is gloomy enough: Paris after the great Revolution, honeycombed with infidelity and seething with scepticism, and still filled with the rancour of Voltaire’s bitter wit and hatred of Christianity. The churches were everywhere empty and deserted. The French Hierarchy were afraid and silent. The schools were frankly unbelieving. Ozanam looked out upon his country and saw its faith and freedom in a pitiful plight. He resolved to rescue it from both these dangers, and set himself to the work in the spirit of a splendid hope. “I felt,” he says of himself, “that the past was falling to pieces, that the foundation of the building we have known are shaken, that an earthquake has changed the whole face of the earth. But I believed in Providence, and I did not despair of my country.” Amidst the wreck of social and political institutions, he took his stand on the bed-rock of human life—the essential truth of religion, the revelation of God, His Providence proclaiming itself throughout the ages in history, His inscrutable wisdom guiding man’s destiny, His immutable power sustaining and shaping the changing world. That foundation for him was the Catholic Faith unfolding itself in Catholic Charity. “These are the things,” he said, “which society needs, and these are the things which I equally need.”

His faith was a Virile Intellectual Faith—a faith which, like steel, had been tempered in the fire of temptation, and strengthened by prayer and study. Referring to the past and to his student days, he said: “God gave me the grace to be born in the Faith. Later, the confusion of an unbelieving world surrounded me. I knew all the horrors of the doubts that torment the soul. It was then that the instructions of a priest and philosopher saved me. I believed thenceforth with an assured faith, and touched by so rare a goodness, I promised God to devote my life to the service of the Truth which had given me peace.” Rarely was a promise more faithfully kept. In his lectures and in his writings he brilliantly defended Catholic Faith against all comers. And the atmosphere of the faith permeated every one of his numerous scientific and literary works. “Those who desire to see no religion introduced into science,” he wrote, “accuse me of a lack of independence. But I pride myself on such an accusation. I do not aspire to an independence, the result of which is to believe and to love nothing.” Conscious that his soul was made for God, he lived and worked so as to make himself worthy of this lofty calling. Prayer and the Sacraments were his constant recourse; and his charity towards God and his neighbour were commensurate with his faith. So that when, at the close of his life, at the age of forty, the priest exhorted him to have confidence in God, swift came the reply from his lips: “Oh, why should I fear God, whom I love so much ?” Such was Ozanam the Catholic. He stood out in a pagan and unregenerate age a man apart, a man alive with faith and supernatural love. There is another phase of his life to consider hardly less interesting or useful. Frederic Ozanam was a Catholic and a democrat. He believed that a Christian Democracy was the end towards which Providence was leading the world; and he saw in the Christian revelation and in the traditional teaching of the Church the germs of an ideal of government, which he expressed in the formula: “The self-sacrifice of each for the benefit of all.” “This,” he added, “was the Christian Republic of the Primitive Church of Jerusalem ; and it will probably be the form of government in the time to come.” His dream was to unite the master forces of Catholicism and Freedom—a dream which has since, to some extent, been realized, and is still being increasingly fulfilled. The masses of the people, not the classes, were, in his conviction, the opportunity and the hope of the Church. “I have always believed,” he wrote, when things were at their worst, “in the possibility of Christian Democracy: indeed, as far as politics go, I believe in nothing else.” Like Lacordaire, he was “a Liberal to the last.” Above all, he insisted that it was the social question and not any political issue which was essential. At the same time, he was fully alive to the eventualities of politics, and he was not afraid of the impending changes which he believed to be inevitable, and a part of the Divine dispensation for the development of society on the lines of a higher freedom and purer morality. When France was again on the verge of revolution in 1848, addressing the members of the Catholic Club, he urged them boldly to cast aside the dynastic politicians and to take their stand openly with the people. The outcome of Ozanam’s religious and social zeal was the religious and philan­thropic work of the institution and propagation through the world of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. That Society, which now numbers 140,000 active members, may fairly be taken to represent the most perfect scheme of lay charity for the help of the poor which has emanated from the Church in modern times. At once religious in its spirit and democratic in its organiza­tion and methods, it is the abiding and best memorial of Frederic Ozanam—Catholic and Democrat.

  1. A sermon to the delegates of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, preached at St. John’s Cathedral, Salford, by his Lordship, the Bishop of Lamus (the Right Rev. John McIntyre, D.D.).
  2. Delivered in the Church of the Holy Name, Manchester.

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