The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection.
Antoine Frederic Ozanam is one of them.
About the Artifact
The artifact is a letter, written in Paris, and dated December 15, 1849. It was hand written in French and signed by Antoine Frederic Ozanam.
The text is twenty lines and the letter itself measures 21 X 13.5 cm.
Included with the letter is a typewritten short biography and an Italian translation of the letter and a photo of Ozanam from 1833.
“I want to wrap up the whole world in a network of charity.” —Blessed Frederic Ozanum
On April 23, 1833, the first meeting of the Conference of Charity was held, and the organization was placed under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul.
Among the attendees was a French law student named Frederic Ozanam, who happened to be celebrating his 20th birthday that day.
Despite Frederic’s love of literature, the young man had bowed to his father’s wishes that he follow him in the legal profession. While studying law, Frederic often found himself defending his Catholic faith. One time after he had talked about Christianity’s positive role in society, a listener challenged him: “What do you do besides talk to prove the faith that is in you?”
Frederic took that question to heart.
Following the meeting of the Conference of Charity, he spent the next 20 years working to establish and grow the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The French revolution of 1848 left many people in need of the services the St. Vincent de Paul Society could offer. Ozanam, despite deteriorating health, wrote articles and fought for justice for the poor.
He died September 8, 1853, at the age of 40. In August 1997, Pope John Paul II beatified Frederic Ozanam during World Youth Day.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is present in more than 150 countries, and has more than one million volunteers. It runs more than 180 thrift shops throughout the United States.
Blessed Frederic Ozanam, pray for us!