From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Fri Dec 4 23:21:37 2020
The Voice of Christ:
It is sometimes well to use a little restraint even in good desires
and inclinations, lest through too much eagerness you bring upon
yourself distraction of mind; lest through your lack of discipline you
create scandal for others; or lest you be suddenly upset and fall
because of resistance from others. Sometimes, however, you must use
violence and resist your sensual appetite bravely. You must pay no
attention to what the flesh does or does not desire, taking pains that
it be subjected, even by force, to the spirit. And it should be
chastised and forced to remain in subjection until it is prepared for
anything and is taught to be satisfied with little, to take pleasure
in simple things, and not to murmur against inconveniences.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Book 3, Chapter 11
5 December – Blessed Jean-Baptiste Fouque
Priest, Apostle of Charity “known as “Saint Vincent de Paul of Marseilles,” Founder of numerous charitable organisations for the
poor, the sick, the elderly, children and orphans. Born on 12
September 1851 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France and died on 5
December 1926 at the Saint John Hospital in Marseille,
Bouches-du-Rhône, France of natural causes. Patronage – Saint John’s Hospital.
He tended to the poor during his time as a parish priest in Marseilles
and was noted for his desire to create a large and free hospital for
them. He achieved this in 1921 and tended to the old and infirm in the hospital. Fouque also was known for his ministering to displaced
peoples during World War I and for his commitment to evangelisation.
Jean-Baptiste Fouque was born on 19 September 1851 in Marseilles to
Louis Fouque and Adèle Anne Remuzat. His parents married on 29
October 1850 and were devout in their faith.
He studied in the school that the Servant of God Joseph-Marie
Timon-David had opened, both David and Jean-Joseph Allemand proved to
be Fouque’s spiritual masters during his education and were also
influences on his desire to enter the priesthood. Timon-David helped Jean-Baptiste discern his call to the priesthood which he had felt
since the beginning of his adolescence. This event – his Ordination –
took place in Marseilles on 10 June 1876.
His first assignment was to serve as a pastor in Auriol at the Sainte-Marguerite parish and then in La Major. His final assignment
was to serve at the Sainte Trinité parish from 15 April 1888 until his
death over three decades later.
Fr Jean-Baptiste opened the “Le Sainte Famille,” ” The Holy Family ”
home for girls that he later entrusted to the nuns from the
Presentation order from Tours. In December 1891 the archdiocesan vicar
general asked him to tend to the abandoned and to orphans. He threw
himself into this work and opened an orphanage “House of the Holy
Guardian Angels” that was transferred to a new location in 1894 and
entrusted to nuns.
In 1903 he helped to establish a house for girls and also a home for
poor domestic workers both in Marseilles. In 1903 he also re-opened
the former boarding school of the Ladies of the Christian Doctrine and
in 1905 – in a former convent – created “L’oeuvre de Salette” for the old and infirm. Fouque later founded “Le travail de l’enfance” on 27 November 1913 in Saint-Tronc which he later entrusted to the direction
of a group of priests.
Between 1914 and 1918 – upon the outbreak of World War I – he tended
to the wounded and displaced peoples. He had no financial means
following the war but decided to appeal to doctors to care for the
poor who had no finances to pay for medical attention. There were some
doctors who agreed and Fr Jean-Baptiste proceeded to open a small
clinic and hospital which would ensure better treatment of the poor.
He asked industrialists and merchants to help finance this venture
which became the basis for his idea in 1919 to create a large and free
hospital for the poor in Marseilles. The people rallied behind him in
this project and offered financial aid which resulted in Fr
Jean-Baptiste finally opening and dedicating the Saint John Hospital
on 20 March 1921.
Fr Jean-Baptiste died on 5 December 1926 in the Saint John Hospital.
The people revered him as a saint and even referred to him as the
“Saint Vincent de Paul of Marseilles.” His remains were later
transferred to the Saint Joseph’s chapel in his first hospital on 29
He was Beatified on 30 September 2018 by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo
Becciu in the Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure, Marseille on behalf
of Pope Francis. Pope Francis said on that day at St Peter’s, Rome:
“The diocesan priest Jean-Baptiste Fouque, who was an assistant pastor throughout his life, is being proclaimed Blessed today in Marseilles.
A fine example for social climbers! He lived in the 19th and 20th
centuries and promoted numerous welfare and social works in favour of
young people, the elderly, the poor and the sick. May the example and intercession of this Apostle of Charity, support us in the commitment
to welcome and share with the weakest and most underprivileged people.
A round of applause for the newly Blessed Jean-Baptiste!”
“If we would please this Divine Infant,
we too must become children,
simple and humble.
We must carry to Him, flowers of virtue,
of meekness, of mortification, of charity.
We must clasp Him in the arms of our love.”
--St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Sow for yourselves in justice, and reap in the mouth of mercy, break
up your fallow ground: but the time to seek the Lord is, when he shall
come that shall teach you justice. [Hosea 10: 12] DRB
If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the
shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal
likewise with their fellow men.
-- Saint Francis of Assisi
The Most Holy Name of Jesus is our Strength insuperable.
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be Saved."--Rom. x. 13: (Hymn of Thomas a Kempis)
In Christ's dear Name with courage bear
Whatever ills betide;
For worldly good is oft a snare,
And fills the heart with pride.
What seems a loss will often prove
To be our truest gain;
And pains endured with patient love
A jewelled crown obtain.
Brief is this life, and brief its pain,
But long the bliss to come;
And trials borne for Christ attain
A place with martyrdom.
The Christian soul by patience grows
More perfect day by day,
And brighter still and brighter glows
With Heaven's eternal ray.