+ Jean-Baptist was born to a pious family in Marseilles, France, and he was ordained a priest in 1876.
+ Following his ordination, he was assigned to serve the parishes in Auriol, Sainte-Marguerite, and La Major, before being named pastor of Sainte-Trinité Parish in Marseilles in 1888. He would remain at Sainte-Trinité until his death.
+ Father Fouque created the “Le Sainte Familie” home for girls and began a special outreach to abandoned children and orphans.
+ In 1903, he helped establish a new homes for girls and poor domestic workers in Marseilles and created the “L’oeuvre de Salette” for the elderly and infirm.
+ During the First World War, he showed exceptional kindness and charity for the wounded and those who had to flee their homes because of the violence. Seeking financial and medical support from local doctors in this work, he would later be inspired to create a new hospital, which was opened in 1921.
+ Father Jean-Baptiste Fouque died in the hospital he founded on December 5, 1926. Honored as the “Saint Vincent de Paul of Marseilles” because of his tireless work for the poor and marginalized, he was beatified in 2018.
For prayer and reflection
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”—Matthew 25:40
On this day we also remember Saint Christina of Markyate. A nun and mystic, she was revered for her holiness and visions, as well as for her fearless pursuit of her vocation, despite being forced into an unwanted marriage. Honored as a patron saint of needle workers, Christina died in her monastery in Markyate, Hertfordshire, England in 1160.
O God, who have taught your Church to keep all the heavenly commandments by love of you as God and love of neighbor; grant that, practicing the works of charity after the example of blessed Jean-Baptiste, we may be worthy to be numbered among the blessed in your Kingdom. 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: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Those Who Practiced Works of Mercy)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.