Spiritan Priest (1876-1936)
+ Daniel was born in La Ferté-Saint-Cyr, France.
+ Ordained a priest in 1899, he entered the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (the Spiritans) in 1902 and was sent as a missionary to Senegal the following year.
+ Failing health forced him to return to France in 1911 and, at the request of the apostolic vicar of Senegal, he began to collect funds to help build a cathedral in Dakar, Senegal. The cathedral, known as the “African Memorial Cathedral,” was dedicated in 1936, just a few weeks before Daniel’s death.
+ Daniel served as a chaplain for the French army during the First World War. He was cited for bravery six times and received high military honors. He attributed his survival to the intercession and protection of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and he later built a chapel in her honor at Auteuil.
+ After the war, Daniel dedicated the remainder of his life to the care of orphans. At the time of his arrival in 1923, the facility could accommodate 140 orphans; at the time of his death on February 28, 1936, the Spiritan Fathers were caring for more than 1,400 orphans and abandoned children.
+ More than 15,000 Parisians attended his funeral and he was buried in the chapel he had built in honor of Saint Thérèse.
+ Blessed Daniel Brottier was beatified in 1984.
For prayer and reflection
“We must press on with total confidence in God. Either we have faith or we don’t have faith.”—Blessed Daniel Brottier
O God, light of the faithful and shepherd of souls,
who set blessed Daniel in the Church
to feed your sheep by his words and form them by his example,
grant that through his intercession
we may keep the faith he taught by his words
and follow the way he showed by his example.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from the Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.