Letters of Frédéric Ozanam: available in Spanish
Excellent news for Spanish-speaking Vincentians : after five years of study, research and translation, the Spanish edition of the letters of Frédéric Ozanam sees the light of day, with the permission of the International Confederation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and of the descendants of Frédéric Ozanam.
The full correspondence (from the six-volume critical edition in French) is co-published by the “Somos Vicencianos” (We are Vincentians) collective and by the Spanish publishing house La Milagrosa, which is responsible for distributing this work. The editor responsible is Francisco Javier Fernández Chento and the translation was undertaken by Fr. Jaime Corera CM. A team of Lazarist Fathers and lay people also contributed to this project in a variety of ways.
Ozanam died young, only forty years old; but despite his very short life, he left behind him work that would do credit to a lengthy career. His fertile spirit and intelligence were nourished by his deep love of Jesus Christ and the Church. A few days before his death, he wrote from Pisa: “My whole life has persuaded me that there is no rest for the spirit or for the heart except in the faith of the Church, and in living under her authority. Any merit I may have gained from my long studies arises from the fact that they give me the right to beg those I love to stay faithful to a religion in which I find light and peace”.
It was in 1953, the year of the centenary of Frédéric’s death, that the plan for this work was put in hand by the Council General of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Jacques Zeiller, then President General of the Society, entrusted this task to Léonce Celier, with the help of Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, Didier Ozanam and Marie Laporte. From their patient work of research in the private archives came the first volume of the critical edition in French, containing 271 letters, those known up to 1840, which was published in 1961. After that, three further volumes appeared, and then two supplements.
The first volume of the Spanish edition (out of the 4 planned) has already been published in Spain (september 2015).