Bl. Frédéric Janssoone (1838-1916)
God’s Peddlar. Frédéric was born in Ghyvelde, France to a well-to-do farming family. At the age of nine, his father died. Frédéric excelled in school, and he came to pursue studies towards the priesthood. However, Frédéric suspended this pursuit to financially assist his mother. Frédéric became a rather successful travelling salesman. Upon the death of his mother in 1861, Frédéric returned to his priestly formation and was ordained a priest with Order of Friars Minor (i.e. Franciscans). After serving some time in France as a military chaplain and then as a superior, Frédéric transferred to the Holy Land. Here Frédéric served as the assistant to the Custos (i.e. Superior) of the Holy Land Province of the Franciscans. This role required much diplomacy. Part of his office required that Frédéric go on mission appeals, to raise funds for the upkeep of the Holy Land sites. This brought Frédéric to Quebec, Canada, where he eventually moved to. In Quebec, Frédéric promoted pilgrimages to the great Catholic shrines. He preached many missions, spreading anew devotion to the Catholic faith. He also wrote many books and pamphlets to help teach people the Catholic faith. These he would sell as he went door to door throughout the various cities and towns, providing spiritual nourishment to all he met, and using the proceeds of the sales to assist various religious communities. In June 1916, Frédéric took ill and was diagnosed with stomach cancer, from which he died two months later on August 4. His body is buried in Trois-Rivières.
Lord our God, who called Blessed Frédéric Janssoone to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Christ your Son and to make known to your faithful the saving events of salvation, grant, through his intercession, that we may approach those same mysteries with reverence and love and experience in abundance redeeming grace.