This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23 -- Blessed Daniel Brottier

It's tough to think about celebrating the feast of St. Serenus the Gardener when there are three-foot snowbanks along the road, so Daniel gets the nod.

Daniel Brottier was a French priest who served as a missionary to Senegal from 1903 to 1911. He returned to France to recover his failing health, but then launched a fundraising drive to build a cathedral in Dakar, Senegal. He wanted the new church to be a memorial to the Africans who died for France and the French who died for Africa. While it may be easy for us to be cynical about imperialism and attribute all Euro-American motives as greed, I think the histories of men like Daniel Brottier were genuinely motivated by the most altruistic impulses.

When World War I broke out, Daniel Brottier served as a chaplain in the French Army. He was cited six times for bravery, receiving both the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor. I haven't seen many beatified war veterans -- Daniel doesn't seem to have an official patronage assigned, so let's add him to the patrons of veterans.

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