Antoine Frédéric Ozanam
412 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268101428 | June 2017
eBook | 9780268101442 | June 2017
eBook | 9780268101459 | June 2017
Raymond Sickinger’s biography of Antoine Frédéric Ozanam is more than a chronological account of Ozanam’s relatively brief but extraordinary life. It is also a comprehensive study of a man who touched many lives as a teacher, writer, and principal founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Ozanam’s life encompassed a particularly turbulent time in French history, and he was a witness to two major political upheavals—the overthrow of the Bourbon dynasty that brought Louis Philippe to power in 1830, and the end of Louis Philippe’s “Bourgeois Monarchy” as a result of the 1848 Revolutions. This book examines Ozanam’s life in a variety of ways. First, it explores the various roles he played throughout his life—son, sibling, student, member of and an inspiration for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, spouse and father, scholar, and spokesperson for the common people. Second, it examines the lessons he learned in his life, including the importance of friendship, the meaning of solidarity, and the role and purpose of suffering, among many others that he shares with those who study his thought and work. It concludes with an account of Ozanam's enduring legacy.
Antoine Frédéric Ozanam feared that he would not have a fruitful career, but his legacy remains a powerful testimony to his greatness. This book will interest scholars wishing to know more about Ozanam and the period in which he lived, as well as a wider audience including those who are aware or are members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Raymond Sickinger is chair of the Department of History and Classics at Providence College.
"Raymond Sickinger's insightful book on the founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers English-speaking readers an arresting portrait of a Catholic layman moved to prophetic action by the promptings of his faith as well as a grounding in the spiritual depths of a lay movement that challenges its members to grow in holiness in the course of serving the poor. Locating his subject amid the challenges of the political, intellectual, and religious turmoil of ninteenth-century France, Sickinger not only highlights Ozanam's significant role in the history of Catholic lay spirituality but assesses him in light of the thought-provoking legacy he has left the contemporary church." ~Wendy M. Wright, Creighton University
“This is likely to become the definitive biographical work on Ozanam for the foreseeable future.” —David L. Gregory, St. John’s University ~David L. Gregory, St. John’s University
"Frédéric Ozanam was one of a number of influential Catholics in postrevolutionary France who was seeking ways Catholicism could authentically reconstitute itself after the disaster of the ancien régime. Raymond Sickinger does Catholic scholars a tremendous service by reframing Ozanam, analyzing his importance in his own context, and identifying the myriad ways his legacy remains relevant for the church today." ~Thomas O'Brien, DePaul University
"Antoine Frédéric Ozanam gives us not just the story of an interesting man living at an interesting time, but also a clear picture of why he should still matter to us today. Raymond Sickinger's affinity for Ozanam yields contemporary insights into Frédéric's ideas about systemic thinking, servant leadership, suffering, politics, and spirituality. The book chronicles a legacy that will have relevance for any reader trying to integrate a meaningful spirituality into their professional, family, and political lives." ~Ralph Middlecamp, President, National Council of the United States, Society of St. Vincent de Paul