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Must I then leave all these blessings which you yourself, my God, have given me? Will you not, Lord, be satisfied with a portion of the sacrifice?… Will you not accept the sacrifice of my own literary self-esteem, of my academic ambition, of my very study where pride perhaps featured more than zeal for the truth?

— Frédéric Ozanam

It is our vocation to set people’s hearts ablaze, to do what the Son of God did, who came to light a fire on earth in order to set it ablaze with His love.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Society today seems to me to be not unlike the wayfarer described in the parable of the Good Samaritan. For while journeying along the road mapped out for it by Christ, it has been set upon by thieves of evil human thought. Bad men have despoiled the wayfarer of all his goods, of the treasures of faith and love… . The priests and the Levites have passed him by. But this time, being real priests and true Levites, they have approached the suffering, wretched creature and attempted to cure him. But in his delirium he has not recognized them and has driven them away. Then we weak Samaritans, outsiders as we are, have dared to approach this great sick patient. Perhaps he will be less affrighted by us? Let us try to measure the extent of his wounds in order to pour oil into them. Let us make words of peace and consolation ringing in his ears. Then, when his eyes are opened, we will hand him over to the tender care of those whom God has chosen to be the guardians and doctors of souls.

— Frédéric Ozanam

I am now completely convinced that when one does a deed of charity one need not worry about where the money will come from: it will always come.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Let us learn, first of all, to defend our belief without hating our adversaries, to appreciate those who do not think as we do, to recognize that there are Christians in every camp, and that God can be served now as always! Let us complain less of our times and more of ourselves. Let us not be discouraged, let us be better.

— Frédéric Ozanam

We are here on this earth to accomplish the will of Providence.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Sons of Vincent de Paul, let us learn of Him to forget ourselves, to devote ourselves to the service of God and the good of men. Let us learn of Him that holy preference which shows most love to those who suffer most.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Since you know the means of getting better, in the name of God, make use of them. Do not take on anything beyond your strength, do not be anxious, do not take things too much to heart, go gently, do not work too long or too hard.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Charity is a tender mother who keeps her eyes fixed on the infant she carries at her breast, who no longer thinks of herself, and who forgets her beauty for her love.

— Frédéric Ozanam

The question which is agitating the world today is a social one. It is a struggle between those who have nothing and those who have too much. It is a violent clash of opulence and poverty which is shaking the ground under our feet. Our duty as Christians is to throw ourselves between these two camps in order to accomplish by love, what justice alone cannot do.

— Frédéric Ozanam

In my life I want to become better and do a little good.

— Frédéric Ozanam

I would like to embrace the whole world in a network of charity.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Yours must be a work of love, of kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves. The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning with an inalienable right to respect. You must not be content with tiding the poor over the poverty crisis; You must study their condition and the injustices which brought about such poverty, with the aim of a long term improvement.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Let us go in simplicity where merciful Providence leads us, content to see the stone on which we should step without wanting to discover all at once and completely the windings of the road.

— Frédéric Ozanam

We must cast ourselves between these two enemy armies, if not to prevent, at least to deaden the shock. And our youth and our mediocrity does not make our role of mediators easier than our title of Christian makes us responsible. In this, there is the possible usefulness of our Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

— Frédéric Ozanam

…the poor we see with the eyes of flesh; they are there and we can put finger and hand in their wounds and the scars of the crown of thorns are visible on their foreheads; and at this point incredulity no longer has place and we should fall at their feet and say with the Apostle, Tu est Dominus et Deus meus (You are my Lord and my God!). You are our masters, and we will be your servants. You are for us the sacred images of that God whom we do not see, and not knowing how to love Him otherwise shall we not love Him in your person?

— Frédéric Ozanam

Charity is the Samaritan who pours oil on the wounds of the traveler who has been attacked. But, it is justice’s role to prevent the attacks.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Peace of heart – without it, no good can make us happy. With it, every trial, even the approach of death, can be borne.

— Frédéric Ozanam

The best way to economize time is to ‘lose’ half an hour each day attending Holy Mass.

— Frédéric Ozanam

The problem that divides men and women in our day is… whether society will be only a great exploitation to the profit of the strongest or a consecration of each individual for the good of all and especially for the protection of the weak. There are a great many men and women who have too much and who wish to have more; there are a great many others who do not have enough, who have nothing, and who are willing to take if someone gives to them. Between these two classes of men, a confrontation is coming, and this menacing confrontation will be terrible; on the one side, the power of gold, on the other the power of despair.

— Frédéric Ozanam

The poor we see with the eyes of flesh; they are there and we can put finger and hand in their wounds and the scars of the crown of thorns are visible on their foreheads; and at this point incredulity no longer has place and we should fall at their feet and say with the Apostle, Tu est Dominus et Deus meus (You are my Lord and my God!). You are our masters, and we will be your servants. You are for us the sacred images of that God whom we do not see, and not knowing how to love Him otherwise shall we not love Him in your person.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Help honours when to the bread that nourishes it adds the visit that consoles, the advice that enlightens, the friendly shake of the hand that lifts up the sinking courage; when it treats the poor man with respect not only as an equal but as a superior, since he is suffering what perhaps we are incapable of suffering; since he is the messenger of God to us, sent to prove our justice and our charity; and to save us by our works.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Knowledge of the poor and needy is not gained by pouring over books or in discussions with politicians, but by visiting the slums where they live, sitting by the bedside of the dying, feeling the cold they feel and learning from their lips the causes of their woes.

— Frédéric Ozanam

We must do what is agreeable to God. We must do what Our Lord Jesus Christ did when preaching the Gospel. Let us go to the poor Let us learn of Him.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Let us do without hesitation whatever good lies at our hands.

— Frédéric Ozanam

I have always believed in the invasion of the barbarians and I believe in it more than ever now, I believe it will be long, murderous but destined sooner or later to bend under Christian law, and consequently, to regenerate the world. Except that I am sure that we will experience the whole horror of the struggle.

— Frédéric Ozanam

But democracy is master in all of its various political forms it will pursue progress and finish by re-taking the republican form which is the most natural and sincere. We are not socialists… in the sense that we don’t want an overthrow of society but we do want free, progressive and Christian reform.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Better to rely on the people who are the true ally of the Church, as poor as she is, devoted, blessed as she is with all the blessings of the Saviour.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Gentlemen, I have not the honor to be a theologian, but I have the happiness to be a Christian; the happiness to believe and the ambition to devote my mind, my heart, and all my strength to the service of truth.

— Frédéric Ozanam

Being a Christian I glory in belonging to no other school than that of truth, which is the Church… I live by my faith.

— Frédéric Ozanam
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