Blessed Frederic Janssoone
Feast Day: August 5
Born: 1838 :: Died: 1916
Blessed Frederic Janssoone was born in Flanders in Belgium and lived a very interesting life. Frederic had rich parents who owned a farm and he was the youngest of thirteen children.
But when he was only nine years old his father died, so he left school to work and help support his mother. He soon realized that he was very good at selling things to people. He enjoyed meeting new people and he knew how to explain about the things he sold.
Then Frederic's mother died when he was twenty-three years old and he began to think about what he could do with his life. He wanted very much to become a Franciscan priest, so he joined the seminary where he studied to become a priest. After he became a priest he was first asked to serve in the military taking care of the spiritual needs of soldiers.
A few years later, he was sent to the Holy Land where he preached the Gospel in the places made holy by Jesus himself. He used his skills to help different groups of Christians come together and look after two sacred churches. He also built another church in Bethlehem.
Blessed Frederic is also remembered for starting again an old forgotten custom of having pilgrims make the Stations of the Cross throughout the streets of Jerusalem.
Father Frederic's ministry (work) in Canada began when he was sent there to collect money for charity. Because he was so talented and had such a joyful spirit of self- giving the people there loved him immediately. In his sermons and talks he told them many interesting stories about the Holy Land. He looked into the faces and hearts of the people and prayed that they would come close to God and their love for Him would grow strong.
In 1888, he returned to Canada to stay and spent the rest of his life there.
Besides being an interesting person, Father Janssoone was also a very good writer. He wrote several articles and life stories of saints. They remind us of the delight that filled his soul and reflect the joy of Jesus that he so willingly shared with others.
Father Frederic died on August 4, 1916 in Canada.
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