Ozanam in his correspondence (Monsignor Baunard) 12

Francisco Javier Fernández ChentoFrédéric OzanamLeave a Comment

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Author: Monsignor Baunard · Translator: A member of the Council of Ireland of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. · Year of first publication: 1911 (French) – 1925 (English).
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Chapter XI: The bar

Ozanam’s prejudices: abuses — Defence of the poor — His father’s death — Business embarrassment — Works, Des Biens de l’ Eglise — Annals of the Propagation of the Faith — The case of the Archbishop of Cologne.
1837.

As soon as the Sittings of the Royal Courts of Lyons opened, Ozanarn had his name inscribed on the register of Barristers: “It is a solemn act,” as he wrote on the 5th November, “and being solemn, sad.” What made the adoption of a profession sad for him was that it meant a farewell to the profession of science and of Literature which had charms for him, and from which he parted with regret. The latter would not have brought him more wealth or honour; but it would have contributed more to the honour and glory of God, which was what the soul of the apostle of truth looked to: “I am suffering,” he wrote at the same time, “from an uncertainty of vocation. I am to see the stones and the dust of every walk of life, but the flowers of none. The Bar especially holds less and less attraction for me.”

He felt still worse about it after he had discussed matters with some business people in Lyons. That brought him into actual touch with the seamy side of the profession. He again became a prey to doubts and misgivings. We shall return to the subject only for the purpose of seeing him raise himself by prayer into the arms of God: “Let us pray for each other, my very dear friend, let us be on our guard against our troubles, our griefs, our very lack of confidence. Let us walk simply in the path where a merciful Providence leads us, content to see the stone whereon we are to place our foot, without desiring to see the length or the windings of the way.”

The experience gained by practice did not abate his prejudice against his profession, it rather increased it. Certain methods were not to his liking. He wrote: “There is scarce any case, no matter how good it may be, wherein there is not something wrong, and in which a just advocate would not have to admit a weakness. But that is not the way in which the case comes before the Court. According to the Barrister, his client cannot but be right in all his allegations and claims; on the other hand his opponent must necessarily be a rogue . . . .! The Bar has thus grown accustomed to invective, hyperbole and suppression, which even the best members employ, and to which one must grow accustomed!” Would he ever be able to bring himself to that?

Then, again, he was shocked at the insincerity and excess with which money claims were made: “It is a practice that two hundred francs damages must be sought when one wants fifty. You must thunder against your opponent, strike him down and beat him to the ground. If you express yourself in terms of moderation, that is a weakness by which you invite defeat. Your colleagues gibe at you, your client regards himself as sold. If you should meet one of the Judges outside who tried the case he will stop you to tell you: “My dear young friend, you were too mild.” That is why he wrote in confidence: “I shall never get acclimatised to the atmosphere of chicanery.”

Without assuming the role of either censor or reformer, the young man confided to his friends that “he, at all events, would make it a practice to maintain a just balance between plaintiff and defendant, seeking to justify the latter without, however, wronging the former.” He would not ask for business, nor ‘ devil’ with a senior who would be likely to give him business. He himself would select his own cases so as to be the champion of pure justice. With him that came from the promptings of conscience rather than from a spirit of independence and pride.

He did plead; and one of his first addresses displayed those lofty sentiments. He had been nominated by the Judge to defend a prisoner who was too poor to engage counsel. “The poor man’s friend,” his brother relates, “placed at the disposal of his poor client all his ability, energy, and talent, and that with an obvious sincerity which his voice betrayed. The Crown prosecutor had the bad taste to pour gentle ridicule on him, suggesting ironically to the new hand, that he took himself altogether too seriously in a role which had been assigned to him through pure formality. Ozanam blushed, not for himself but for his opponent. He, in his turn, stated calmly and firmly how much amazed he, a new hand, was to find a responsible official making so little of the dignity of the Court. Was the defence of the poor mere comedy, and the position of a Judge that of an actor?” The judges smiled approval. One of them, indeed, shook hands with the young advocate as soon as the Court arose.

Ozanam’s antipathy to the Bar explains why he had no sooner entered on that career, than he was looking for a way out. On the 15th November, 1836, he confided to Janmot: “I am finding that the only profession open to me is the Bar; and since that is too trying for my feelings I am seeking to qualify myself for another career to which I should be naturally more inclined. I mean lecturing. It is not at all improbable that a Chair of Law or Literature may be established here. I shall try to be ready for that. At the moment I am busy with a thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Literature, for which I have not been able to present myself this year owing to lack of time, and for which I shall have to return for some weeks to Paris.”

On the 12th February, 1837, these views on a Chair of Law are set forth more definitely in a letter to M. Jean Jacques Ampère: “When leaving Paris last year I acquainted you with my aversion to the rough-and-tumble of business, with my student’s dreams, and with the moral obligation that I was under, to return to my parents and earn my living in Lyons. I confided to you the suggestion which had been made to me, to induce the Government to establish a Chair of Commercial Law in Lyons and to nominate me for the Chair. That idea, which would have been very daring, if it had originated with myself, had occurred to and been supported by many distinguished people in our city. Matters now seem to be coming to a head. The Lyons Chamber of Commerce has presented a petition to the Ministry of Commerce which is to be communicated to the Ministry of Education.”

J. J. Ampère was requested to support the petition and also the nomination of Ozanam for the Chair, on the ground that the great Ampère would certainly have done so if he had lived a year longer. “As the representative of his great genius,” added Frederic, “you are equally for me the representative of his patronage. I am, sir, your most obedient servant, while awaiting the title of friend, which you have been pleased occasionally to bestow on me.”

But the double business of establishing a Chair of Law and of nominating a lecturer thereto was to be a prolonged affair. Six commissions were appointed successively to report on the matter, and, notwith­standing great influence in Paris, it was a full two years before it was concluded. During those two years Ozanam made a special study of that branch of Law in order to be in a position, when the time came, to do credit to the confidence of his fellow citizens.

He continued pleading without further complaint. “My life,” he wrote to La Perriere, on the loth March, “is passed between inter­mittent study and irksome work. I include most irreverently under the latter head the occasional cases that take me to the Court.”

A prosecution against the Lyons Gazette for an attack on the King’s Government provided him with an opportunity of winning unanimous approval from the court. He brought to bear on the argument lofty considerations of history, policy, and morality, which were very highly appreciated: “I have been greatly complimented on my address. My poor words succeed occasionally in winning approval, but never a verdict.” He lost his case. His noble flights of passionate eloquence were the subject of much comment at the Assizes. He was, indeed, an orator; but his client was convicted. At the close of the sittings in 1837 he gave the following resume of his work: “I appeared some twelve times; three times only on the Civil side where I succeeded on each occasion.” He was a jurist.—” Yes, indeed, my dear friend, pleading is not without its charm for me; but fees come with difficulty, and the relations with business people are so unpleasant, so humiliating, and so unjust, that I cannot bring myself to develop them.”

One day, smarting no doubt from some particular incident, he threw off this satiric denunciation, which would be quite unjustifiable if applied to the Court of Lyons generally, ever honourable in the matter of professional etiquette: “Justice,” my dear friend, “is the last moral refuge, the last sanctuary of modern society. To see it surrounded by impurity is a constant source of indignation to me. This Profession upsets me too much; I return from Court every day with my finer feelings outraged. I can no more resign myself to see evil, than to suffer it.”

He came back to the subject of Literature which was his first choice, his last and great hope: “I think that I have already told you,” continued the letter to Janmot, “that one of my theses for the Degree of Doctor of Literature is on the philosophy of Dante, whom I admire more and more. Ah! my dear friend, happy are those who) can devote themselves to the pursuit of the beautiful, the true, and the’ great, freed from the vulgar need of providing for the necessities of daily life!”

But it was in Paris rather than in Lyons, that he would be able to find the original authorities for the theses. It was also in Paris that he could best push on the matter of the Chair of Commerce in Lyons. Were not his friendships, as well as his Conferences, calling him thither, at least for a visit?

He went for three months in the Spring of 1837 and was plunging with delight into research when a series of terrible letters reached him: “His father was dying!” On the 12th May, 1837 the good Doctor Ozanam, making one of his visits to the bedside of his poor clients, stumbled on a broken stair and injured himself fatally. In a few short hours he was no more.

There was then neither telegraph nor railway between Paris and Lyons. Lallier accompanied his friend on the 15th May in sadness and silence to the stage coach, not venturing to inform him of the death, which he had learned privately. Frederic spent from three to four days on the journey to his mother and brothers. It was only on seeing their tears, and in his mother’s arms, that he learned the sad news definitely and fully understood the magnitude of his misfortune.

He was inconsolable. He confided that to J. J. Ampère. He recalled the day, just a year previously, when in his little student’s room, both wept over the death of the great Ampère, equally dear to both. He adds: “It is on me that the hand of Providence is heavy to-day. When after a short absence I arrived in Lyons, in answer to startling news, my father had passed away. I shall not see him again in this life. Those who have not had the experience cannot know the void which the loss of such a man creates. Such love, and respect, and homage, was offered him, that in his own family circle he was the visible presence of the divinity!

“My father,” he continues in his letter to Ampère, “had not, it is true, gained any honours in the world of Science, his name was not renowned. But his labours and his virtues won love and esteem from his colleagues and his fellow-citizens, in whose service he died. He was not known to you; but you know me, his son. If your kind­ness found something not unworthy in me, it was from him, from his counsel and from his example that it came to me. Your kind affection assures me that we shall again share a common grief. One is almost glad to suffer in such company.”

In speaking to those who were more religious than Jean Jacques, it is his father’s piety that he loves to dwell upon. “It is a great consolation to us, my dear friend,” he writes to Curnier, “to think that my father’s piety, enlightened in later days by a more frequent -use of the Sacraments, his virtues, good works, trials and dangers, have smoothed his passage into the Heavenly Kingdom; soon, if we are found deserving, we shall find him in the eternal home where death is not. The more the number of our dear departed is increased in that invisible world, the more powerful becomes the force of attraction. We cleave less to earth, when the roots by which we were attached have been broken by time.”

Then a reference to the bond of friendship and prayer: “Is not friendship, my dear friend, a community of suffering .. It is in the presence of God that I would have you remember my trials and the needs of my family; He alone joins the distant, consoles the absent, and brings those together again whom He has made to love Him.”

As Dr. Ozanam was one of those men on whose shoulders a household rests, his disappearance meant the collapse of everything. The young man declared that in his isolation, he was seized, not only with grief but with terror. He compared himself to a child who has been suddenly left alone in an empty house and who weeps in terror at the feeling of loneliness and weakness: “It is true,” he says, “that my mother is still there, that she encourages me by her presence and blesses me with her hands; but she is prostrate with grief, and I am tortured with anxiety as to the state of her health.” His brother, a priest on the mission, was fully taken up with his ministry; his younger brother, Charles, was only twelve years of age: “And I,” wrote Frederic, “what can I do with my vacillating and timid character? I need more than anything else to have better men, not only around me, but above me. I need intermediaries between my pettiness and the immensity of God.” He represents himself as a traveller in a storm-swept plain, who sees his shelter swept away and who finds himself lost under the infinite span of the heavens.

The responsibility for the household weighed on the young jurist. It proved very troublesome. “Family quarrels alone excepted, we have had all the unpleasantness of an administration suit in which a minor is concerned.” The inventory of the father’s small estate; and the examination of his accounts showed the splendid unselfishness of that great heart. “I owe him this tribute,” Ozanam wrote later, “that I was able to show with the figures before me, that one-third of his professional visits were made to known poor without any hope whatever of fees.”

The administration of his scanty estate did not long leave Frederic in doubt as to the insufficiency of their means for the necessities of a family who had lost their chief source of income. Who then, if not himself, could make up the deficiency? Yet the greatest of his anxieties was for his mother’s health. He wrote on the rqth June to his cousin, Henri Pessonneaux, as follows:—” My dear mother is in constant suffering: grief is eating her heart out and she is never without headache. Yet her great virtue, exemplified in her resignation to the will of God, is the admiration of the family. Happy is he to whom God has given a pious mother! But why is it that in proportion as the halo of sanctity surrounds with increasing brilliancy the beloved head, the shadows of approaching death grow deeper? Why, in the language of men, is perfection synonymous with completion? . . . My dear friend, join with me in prayer that my mother may be spared to me, that she may be preserved to my brothers, who need her so much; that this house, which you knew as the abode of domestic happiness and affection, may not he thrown into despair, may not become a distracted house of grief, to be pointed out to men as an example of the vicissitude of human affairs; that it may not become a source of scandal to unbelievers who, at the sight of a Christian family suffering such trials, will ask insolently, where is the God in whom they placed their hope: Ubi est Deus eorum? “

“As for me,” adds the Christian, “it is ever in Him that I hope. I am determined to follow His directions in my tangled circumstances.”

One of the consequences of his father’s death was to fix him per­manently in Lyons, near his mother, by the side of his young brother, as the instructor and the mainstay of the family. But his position must supply the means of doing all that.

His profession as Barrister was almost unproductive. He found himself compelled to take cheap terms for a `grind’ for “three young men who are too grand to sit at the desks of a school.” He was, to his intimate friends, obviously at close quarters with poverty. One way out alone remained. “If I am to remain with my mother and brothers, the Chair of Commercial Law in Lyons can alone provide me with a certain and honourable position.” Therefore he was again busy interviewing and interesting the several authorities. But it is from God alone that he expected success, and it was to His affection as Father that he appealed: “For the rest, I am passive. I have a kind of religious, almost superstitious awe for the actual uncertainty of my future. I have placed all in the hands of God and I fear to meddle with it.”

He learned more and more to kiss and to adore the hand of Providence which he had grasped. Writing on the 5th October 1837, from Pierre­Benite, near Lyons, he unbosomed himself to the sympathetic heart of Lallier, giving an account of a conversation which he had just had with a man of God. The letter concluded with a description of a clarion call from the Gospel sounded by the priest, which startled and inspired him:

“You well see, my dear friend, that my way is not a path of roses. Lately, when haunted by dark forebodings, and dejected by constant meditation on my interior and exterior troubles, with my head in a whirl, and utterly incapable of thought or action, I saw but one remedy for my too great trials, viz., recourse to a doctor. To the doctor, I mean, who holds the secret of moral infirmity, and who is the depositary of divine balsam and grace.”

Who was the Lyons priest? He does not mention his name.

He continues: “After I had unfolded my sorrows with unusual energy to the man of charity whom I call “father,” what reply do you think he made? He replied in the words of the Apostle: Gaudete in Domino semper, Rejoice in the Lord always. Is not that strange talk? Here is a poor man, who has incurred the greatest of all mis­fortunes in the spiritual order, that of offending God; and the greatest of all misfortunes in the natural order, that of becoming an orphan. His mother is aged and ill; he daily watches her every movement, her every look, her every feature, to seek to know how long she will be spared to him. He is isolated by distance or death from many friends to whom he is dearly attached; a still sadder separation threatens him. He is, in addition, overwhelmed with the anxieties caused by an uncertain future, and with daily business worries, the lightest of which even gall him. If he relies on himself he finds weakness and im­perfection; secret humiliation and suffering are not the least difficult to bear. Yet he has been just told, not indeed to be resigned, not indeed to be consoled, but to rejoice, and to rejoice always: Gaudete semper! It needs all the audacity and the pious insolence of Christian­ity to speak in that strain. Yet Christianity is right!”

The last words of the letter to Lanier are a call for mutual encourage­ment to become more grounded in confidence and stronger in work. “Let us aid one another, my dear friend, by example and advice. Let us strive that our trust in grace may equal our distrust of nature. Let us be strong even in suffering, for weakness is the malady of the times. Let us remember that we have already lived a third of our existence, and that we have lived by the goodness of others; we must live what is left, for the good of others. Let us do without hesitation whatever good lies at our hand.”

Strength in suffering, strength in action; suffering and action; interior and exterior suffering; charitable and literary action, which, assuaging, consoling, and illuminating, from Lyons stretches out to Paris, nay, even beyond Paris.—Such is Ozanam’s early life in his own home.

We are able to depict him from his correspondence alone in the house wherein he is kept daily, not so much by business as by anxiety and care for his afflicted mother. “I am alone with her. My young brother is at College. The never-ending missions of my elder brother keep him from us; it may be that the designs of God will remove him still further from me. The failing strength of my mother presents each day the saddest sight possible. Her moral strength seems to decrease with failing sight. Her susceptibility to pain increases with interior suffering, which is easily understood. Thus, instead of finding in her the prop which I now need, I find that I have to support her mentally and physically.”

It is the isolation that crushes him: “It is, above all, the community of thoughts and of sentiments that I miss, sympathy, intellectual encouragement, and moral assistance; those are the privileges of intimate friendship; their absence leaves me poor indeed. I do find them, but all too seldom, in our Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The weekly meetings are one of the greatest consolations which Providence has left me. In particular, my relations with Chaurand, Arthaud, La Perriere, recall to me the best days in Paris. Our Conferences are holding their ground. If they increase, it is like soil reclaimed from the seas.”

Ozanam pressed Lallier to add literary activity to his charitable action by the publication of his works on Social Economy, which had been well received by the Catholic Press. Lallier, who had been like Ozanam a regular attendant at the course on Economy given by M. de Coux, remained one of the ablest and best known members of that school; he had not ceased to study that science when he adopted Law as his profession. Ozanam had written to him as early as 1837: “Do not bury your talent in your duties as father of a family. You owe that to the young men of your own generation who are looking for the fulfilment of the early promise of your success. You owe that to your friends who count greatly on your co-operation in preserving faith and morals in such evil times.”

He himself set the example. We need only refer to the titles of the Apologetics of the Lyons period, written on weighty questions of public law by the bedside of his grief-stricken mother. He spoke of them in a letter to Henri Pessonneaux, dated 13th June, 1837, as follows:—” While awaiting the result of my candidature for the Chair of Commercial Law, I have not given up literary work, which is cer­tainly for me one of the greatest mundane consolations.” What his heavenly consolation was we have just seen.

Church Property, is the title and the subject matter of a study in four articles, subsequently enlarged into a scholarly brochure of four chapters.

He clearly proves that the origin of ecclesiastical property is sacred, its possession inviolable, its use beneficent. He shows that its spolia­tion by the Revolution was not only a crime but a blunder, for that act was anti-political, anti-social, and anti-humanitarian in the highest degree. There are many pages in this little volume which could be read with profit to-day.

Another work, first published in the September and October, 1837, issues of the Univers under the title Origines du Droit francais (First Beginnings of French Law), was a vigorous critique of a contribution by Michelet on the came subject. Michelet maintained the paradox that it was Roman Law purified, popularised, and enthroned by the Stoics that had paved the way for Christianity. The error was gross. Roman Law was as cruel as Stoicism. Christianity, on the other hand had, by its influence, demonstrable from the first century, permeated the despotism of the one and the proud egotism of the other with the spirit of justice and the Charity of the Gospel. That is Ozanam’s thesis, demonstrated with an amount of research which is astounding in such a young author.

But the Michelet whom he refuted, the Michelet of 1837, was not the headlong spirit who, in later years, used to wax frantic at the very mention of the Church. The recent Sorbonne student declared, that he could not forget the days when he and his comrades lOudly applauded the charming wizard. “It was impossible for us,” he writes, “to gaze without emotion on the brow which deep study had wrinkled, or on those locks untimely blanched. We shall ever remember that day when, in the lecture hall of the Sorbonne, we listened to his resonant voice recounting the life and death of Joan of Arc in accents that brought tears to our eyes.”

Was that all? Pity and compassion for the man, with some hope of his return, were intertwined with literary sympathy. He says that “he was interested in that soul.” It was the same man whom he had heard apostrophising in one of his lectures the Cross of the Coliseum: “Is not that Cross, which becomes every day more salutary, the only refuge of a religious soul? “” The altar has lost its honours, humanity is drifting away from it by degrees. But please tell me has he erected another altar for himself?” He had heard Michelet recall, “the emotion aroused by our Christian feasts, the touching sound of the bells and their sweet domestic reproach.” Then he said to himself, “The spirit is sound but the heart is heavy laden 1” From that day on Ozanam pitied him sincerely, for that he carried, without being able to throw off, the shirt of Nessus’, doubt, that wrung cries of grief from him. Ozanam’s frank nature saw in all that “a sentiment that promised conversion.” On this occasion his hope was cruelly deceived, yet his mistake showed a noble and sympathetic heart.

Religious controversy did not find him unprepared. It did happen occasionally that Protestant ministers in Lyons discussed such questions with the young and learned champion of the Roman Catholic Church. Madame Ozanam loved to tell the story of one who detained her son for hours debating a passage of the Bible, over which they could not agree. The minister upheld the text of a French translation, made in 1700 by the French Protestant savant, David Martin. Ozanam supported the Latin text of the Vulgate, which has the authority of the name of St. Jerome, its author, and which was recognised and adopted by the Council of Trent. The other fell back on the Greek text of the Septuagint which Jerome, as he maintained, had misunder­stood and mistranslated. Ozanam at once laid the Greek Bible on the table. He opened it at the debated passage, translated it word for word, and demonstrated that St. Jerome had correctly interpreted it. The minister hoped to get out of the difficulty by replying that the Greek was, after all, but itself a translation.—” That is so,” said Ozanam, “let us then have recourse to the Hebrew.” The Hebrew Bible was at hand, the original text was pointed out and translated literally. The daring controversialist was not the less embarrassed because he had to admit that he did not know Hebrew. Whereupon he beat a retreat, promising to return after consulting eminent authori­ties. “We did not see him again!” added Ozanam’s mother, not without some touch of family pride.

Twenty years previous to this period Lyons saw the humble birth of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, elder sister of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, to whom it bore a strong resemblance. Its Council General asked Ozanam to edit its Annals. The request was so insistent that he could not possibly refuse. Moreover his natural inclination for the work was considerable and Ozanam con­tinued it for eight years.

His first article was a Historical Note on the first beginnings of the Society in 1819 and its extension into two hemispheres. He depicts the little chamber in Lyons in which holy inspired women prayed side by side with apostles. The historian tells us their names. He also indicates the mighty rushing of the wind of the Holy Ghost in this latter-day Pentecost, levelling every obstacle, kindling hearts, working miracles and making poor weak human creatures the instruments of His conquests. “It seems as though that mighty wind is again beginning to blow over the Christian world. Vocations are becoming more numerous. Seculars and Regulars are being drawn by an irresist­ible desire for those heroic struggles that amaze the effeminacy of our days. In a short time it will be easier to find men, ready to work for souls in all quarters of the world, then the means to carry them thither steerage or to provide their plainest fare .. Let us remember that fact, and if at times we have been selfishly tempted to rest satisfied with the enjoyment of the benefits conferred by Catholic civilisation, let us think of the millions who do not yet know of the Redemption of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

In the annual report of 1840, Ozanam formally invites associates in the splendid images which the Church and the Gospel furnish: “Christians of Europe, engaged formerly in the work of pious founda­tions, which the storms of our times have demolished, come and take your place in this. You are the natural godparents of these infant peoples awaiting baptism. The holy water is ready; the Church stands waiting with the Gospels and the taper in her hands. Hasten to the sacred meeting-place where the laity are associated with the priest in the great work of universal redemption. Bring them the priest whose humble helper you are like those unknown disciples, who bore the baskets of miraculous bread before the Master, or like her who wiped His brow bathed in blood, or the Cyrenian who shared and lightened the burden of His cross on the road to Calvary.”

It was in similar, though in still more ardent terms, that, towards the end of 1837, Ozanam called the Catholic youth of Paris to the defence of the Church, which was being persecuted by the narrow-minded Prussian evangelical spirit. They had just learned of the midnight arrest of the Archbishop of Cologne, Monsignor de Droste Wischering, in his own palace, and his subsequent imprisonment in the fortress of Minden, because of his fidelity to Canon Law in the celebration of mixed marriages. It was the event of the day. The Pope had pronounced, and European opinion was up in arms. “Are you not going to do anything in Paris?” Ozanam wrote to Lallier on the 7th February, 1838. “I should like a demonstration of Parisian youth about the Cologne affair. Do you remember the day when Lacordaire asked God to send us saints? You are given a Thomas of Canterbury and you do not welcome him! Yet it seems to me that on this occasion the Saracens of rationalism have done us a good turn and that it is the moment to cry out: “God wills it!”

” But it will be said, of what use? First, to enkindle conviction in Catholic youth. I know very well that neither God, nor the Church, nor the Archbishop stand in need of our support. . . . But useless servants – as we are, we must not be idle servants. Woe to us if we do not seek to co-operate in those great works which can be accomplished without us!) When the Saviour was dying on Calvary, he could have had more than twelve legions of angels, yet He did not wish it. He willed that Simon the Cyrenian, an obscure man, should help to bear His cross and thus, contribute to the great miracle of the redemption of the world.”

Why was Ozanam not in Paris? After this lively sortie against the enemy without, Ozanam hastened to shut himself up in his studious solitude, henceforward absorbed in the one urgent matter, his Degree of Doctor of Literature and the immediate preparation of his thesis: Dante and Catholic Philosophy in the 13th Century.

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