Bl. Louis-Zéphirin Moreau (1824-1901)
Despite physical limitations, Louis-Zéphirin served faithfully with the strength that God provides. Louis-Zéphirin was the fifth child born into his farming family from Bécancour, Quebec. He was born premature, and suffered his whole life from poor health. Not fit for farm work, but of great intelligence, Louis-Zéphirin was sent to school. He was admitted as a candidate for priesthood for the Archdiocese of Quebec. Due to his poor health, Louis-Zéphirin was required to study at a slower pace than everyone else and was eventually dismissed. However, the Diocese of Montreal was willing to take him in. With them he completed his studies and was ordained. Louis-Zéphirin served the Diocese of Montreal faithfully in various administrative and chaplaincy roles. When the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe was established in 1852, at 28 years of age, Louis-Zéphirin was made secretary-chancellor to the Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe (a position he held with the next two bishops as well). In 1874, Louis-Zéphirin founded the Union of St. Joseph for workers (something like the Knights of Columbus). When in 1876 the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe was in need of a bishop, Louis-Zéphirin was chosen for this office. During Louis-Zéphirin bishopric, the cathedral for the still relatively new Diocese was built. Louis-Zéphirin served the people of Saint-Hyacinthe with great care, with a special care for the poor (giving of his own salary and clothes to assist them). The great love and concern he showed to all had people referring to him as a saint even before his death. In his final years, Louis-Zéphirin was rather physically infirmed but mentally sharp. He died this day, 1901, at the age of 77.
O Lord, who called Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau to be a Bishop, a pastor venerated by his people, renowned for his goodness, piety, and zeal, grant, we pray, that we may imitate his virtues and faithfully devote our lives to the service of your Kingdom.