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Saint of the Day - Blessed Daniel Brottier (February 28 for February 29)

Daniel Jules Alexis Brottier, C.S.Sp., was a Roman Catholic priest who served as a chaplain in the French Army during World War I.


Image retrieved from https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/catholic/saints/d/daniel-brottier.aspx and used as being in the public domain.


Blessed Daniel was born on September 7, 1876 at Ferte-Saint-Cyr, a city in northern France. His parents were Jean-Baptise and Herminie Brottier. As a child, he expressed a desire ti be a priest. His dream came true on October 22, 1899. As a priest, he ba=egan his ministry teaching secondary s . However, teaching school did not provide him with the excitement and sense of adventure he was looking for. Accordingly, he joined the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in 1902. His first assignment with the Congregation was to Senegal West Africa. However, due to ill health, his first overseas assignment was cut short and he returned to France in 1906. He would remain permanently in France starting in 1911.


With the outbreak of World War I, Blessed Daniel volunteered to serve as a military chaplain. He would spend the war on the front lines ministering to the injured and the dying. He credited St. Thérèse of Lisieux with his surviving unscathed from the war. For his heroic service as a chaplain, he was awarded both the Croix de guerre and the Légion d'honneur, high French Army awards.


Over a period of seven years, including the war years, Blessed Daniel collected money for the construction of a new Cathedral at Dakar, Senegal at the request ion the bishop there. He succeeded in raising the funds. The Cathedral would be completed just 26 days before his death.


After the conclusion of the war, Blessed Daniel founded the National Union of Servicemen. It's purpose was to help French military men of all wars.


In 1923, the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris asked Blessed Daniel's order, the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, to take over the care of the Orphans Apprentices of Auteiul, which was an orphanage of sorts that was more of a shelter for starving youth living in the streets of Paris. The Congregation had a long history of having orphanages and schools attached to seminaries. Blessed ?Daniel jumped Ito this work with both feet. For the next 13 years, Blessed Daniel expanded many of the orphanages and personally ministered to these children with the belief that “There has to be a minimum of well-being and comfort if these young people are to grow up without bitterness. Otherwise they will later on sow the seeds of revolt and anarchy in society.”


On February 28, 1936, Blessed Daniel passed from this life into the next to meet his Savior. He was buried in the Chapel of Saint Therese ay Auteiul, which had had built in her honor, on April 5, 1936. His funeral was attended by 15,000 people


As part of the canonization process, Blessed /Daniel's body was exhumed in 1962. His body was found to be incorrupt. (one of these days, I will write an article on the incorruptible and namer some of the incorruptibles).


On January 13, 1982, Blessed Daniel was declared Venerable with a decree of heroic virtue by Pope Saint John Paul II. On November 25, 1984, he was declared to be Blessed by Pope Saint John Paul II ay Paris. There have been many miracles attributed to Blessed Daniel's intercession.


While his feast day is celebrated on February 28, we are celebrating it on February 29 because there are no saints with a feast day off February 29, since it only comes every four years.




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