Women in Need
Inside the Family
Making Ends Meet
Pictured above, a young
Handwritting of Frederic Ozanam's
name, date of birth, and death.
|As a father and founder of the
Societe de Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Frederic Ozanam held strong
opinions about the nature of people. He was a source for the organization's
social question (below). The following is taken from a letter he
wrote in 1837 stating his view.
Letter excerpt taken from Lynch
|This theme followed Frederic Ozanam throughout his
journey as father of Societe de Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. He
was often fed up with business men, and the wealthy because they
often had too much wealth and they often became selfish with it.
He was in many ways fed up with some of the poor because they often
acted in the same selfish way when it came to money. He proposed
a balance between all the societal spheres. It was a kind of early
"Robin Hood" philosophy. However, it was not taking from
the wealthy and distributing it to the poor it was an equalization
of the two spheres.
|Ozanam's point was to emphasize
the societal and systematic rather than the accidental or the individual
causes of poverty. He did however believe that God put people on
this earth with everything they needed, including wealth. He viewed
poverty as a man-made downfall. He believed God provided man with
everything including wealth. Ozanam felt as though the working class
was exacerbating their tendencies for debauchery, gambling, and
other vices. He viewed these people to have turned away and disappointed
God, because God could have never created such poverty and disgusting
filth (Lynch). Ozanam felt his job
was to show these people that there was more to what they have become.
|They [the poor, and even the wealthy] often fit the
stereotype that was put upon them by many. Ozanam believed that
God sent people into the world with "two primitive fountains...
intelligence and will". It was simply the will of the people
to become something greater and overcome what they might have slipped
into. By doing this, people could live in "harmony" and
equality. Ozanam was often found helping the poor and seen talking
to the businessmen. He tried to create a harmonious place through
his work with the church.
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