New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blessed Daniel Brottier - 28th February 2009


Born in France in 1876, Daniel was ordained in 1899 and began a teaching career. That didn’t satisfy him long. He wanted to use his zeal for the gospel far beyond the classroom. He joined the missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit, which sent him to Senegal, West Africa.

The name “Holy Ghost Fada” is a household name in Sierra Leone. Spiritans, as they are known today, were founded by a young French man Francis Claude Poullart des Place on Pentecost Sunday in 1703. Later in 1848, a Jewish-French man, Francis Mary Paul Libermann, merged his congregation – Society of the Holy Heart of Mary – to Poullart des Places’ Holy Spirit Congregation thus taking a new name – Congregation of the Holy Ghost under the Protection of the Holy Heart of Mary. They have been in Sierra Leone since 1864 and their contribution to primary and secondary school and the overall evangelization task of the Church can never be over estimated. Spiritans work in over 50 countries in all five continents.

After eight years in Senegal, his health was suffering. He was forced to return to France, where he helped raise funds for the construction of a new cathedral in Senegal. He was the builder of the great cathedral of Our Lady of Victories. Dakar, Senegal.

At the outbreak of World War I Daniel became a volunteer chaplain and spent four years at the front. He did not shrink from his duties. Indeed, he risked his life time and again in ministering to the suffering and dying. It was miraculous that he did not suffer a single wound during his 52 months in the heart of battle.

After the war he was invited to help establish a project for orphaned and abandoned children in a Paris suburb. He spent the final 13 years of his life there. He died in 1936 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Paris only 48 years later.

(I do love his long beard)

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