Blessings for the New Year!
2018 – The Year of Lallier

(posted: January 1, 2018)

Our President General has declared that, for Vincentians, 2018 will be ‘The Year of Lallier’. (And I was just getting familiar with ‘The Year of Bailly’!)

During a lull in the Advent and Christmas festivities I took some time to look for material about Francois Lallier, one of our principal founders. From what I was able to find, it appears to me that Francois Lallier was Frederic Ozanam’s BFF. (That’s Best Friend Forever for those who aren’t up on current jargon.) This is just my perception, but what makes me think so? Here are some interesting facts about Francois:

  • His father was a physician. (So was Frederic’s.)
  • He studied at the Sorbonne Faculty of Law and became a lawyer. (As did Frederic.)
  • He participated in the same debates as Frederic and was always involved in the development of what became the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
  • He was one of the original members of the new Society and remained a part of it for the rest of his life. (Like Frederic)
  • He worked with Frederic and Emmanuel Bailly on the first Rule and became the first Secretary-General of the Society.
  • Frederic and Amelie asked Francois to be godfather to their only child and when Francois’ son became a student in Paris, Frederic became his mentor.
  • Frederic and Francois continued to see each other as often as possible and communicated a great deal for the rest of Frederic’s life. 80 letters between them exist.
  • As an old man (unlike Frederic, Francois lived into his 70s) he told others that he prayed for his friend, Frederic every day.
I guess I will always think of Francois as Blessed Frederic’s BFF because they were so close and shared so many important things. That’s what BFFs do.

Best friends are gifts from God. Those who have a lifelong best friend are truly blessed. Nobody listens like a best friend. No one shares your sorrows and your joys the way a best friend does. When we lose a best friend it can feel devastating.

As we give thanks for the blessings of 2017, and for the trials too, let us remember our own BFFs. May God grant us and our BFFs His love to share with all who need us in 2018.


Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee