Blessed Frederic Ozanam and the Eucharist

by | Mar 6, 2023 | Formation, Spirituality and Spiritual Practice

United with Each Other

Frederic remembered his First Communion as one of the most significant days of his life:

“I made my first communion May 11, 1826… Day of happiness, may my hand wither and my tongue cleave to my palate if I ever forget it! I changed greatly then. I became modest, good, docile, and unfortunately also a little scrupulous.”1

For Frederic, receiving Communion united him with his friends:

“When I have not been able to be with you on the great feast-days, I have found you at the altar. I believe firmly that when I am receiving, I am in close touch with my friends, all united to the same Savior. Why is it that so soon after leaving that holy company I sink again into despondency? When shall we see that place where there shall be no divisions among Christians, nor public injustice, nor disgrace for mighty nations!”2

It united him with departed loved ones, especially his mother:

“[W]hen I have the happiness to receive Holy Communion, when our Savior comes to visit me, it seems to me that she follows Him into my poor heart, even as she so often followed Him in the Holy Viaticum, into the rooms of the poor. Then I firmly believe in the actual presence of my mother by my side.”3

And according to his biographer, Monsignor Baunard, it also united him with the poor:

[O]n leaving Notre Dame and while still filled with the presence of Jesus Christ, the pious communicant did not fail, before returning home, to visit the homes of his poor families of the Conference. He thus returned to Our Lord, in the person of His suffering poor, the visit which he had just received from Him in the Holy Eucharist.4


Does the Eucharist affirm and renew my commitment and desire to encounter Christ in the home visit?

1 Dirvin, Joseph I. C.M., “Frederic Ozanam: A Life In Letters” (SVdP, 1986), Letter 12

2 Monsignor Baunard , “Ozanam in His Correspondence”, (Benziger Brothers, New York), 1925, p. 381

3 Ibid, p. 158

4 Ibid, p. 209