Janssoone, Frédéric Cornil, Bl.
JANSSOONE, FRÉDÉRIC CORNIL, BL.
Franciscan missionary; b. Nov. 19, 1838, Ghyvelde (near Dunkirk), Flanders, Belgium; d. Aug. 4, 1916, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Although Frédéric was the youngest of 13 children from a wealthy farm family, he had to quit school to help his mother after his father's death (c. 1848). He soon discovered that his love for others made him a great salesman—this talent later served him well as a preacher. After his mother's death in 1861, he discerned his vocation. He entered the Franciscan novitiate (June 1864), was ordained (Aug. 17, 1870), served as a military chaplain during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), and was custodian for a time at the Bordeaux monastery. In 1876 he was sent to the Holy Land, where he raised funds to maintain two ancient churches, built a new one at Bethlehem, and revived the custom of pilgrims praying the Stations of the Cross in the streets of Jerusalem. He traveled to Canada (1881–82) to collect alms for the Holy Land and returned there six years later (1888). The rest of his life was spent preaching, evangelizing, and establishing the Canadian province of the Franciscans from his base at the shrine of Our Lady of Cap-de-la-Madeleine. Janssoone also composed about 30 popular monographs, most of which are spiritual descriptions of the Holy Land and hagiography. His deep spirituality and ministerial zeal drew many through him to Christ. He was beatified by John Paul II, Sept. 25, 1988.
Feast: Aug. 5.
Bibliography: Works: Vie de saint François d' Assise (Montréal 1894); Vie de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, écrite avec les paroles mêmes des quatre évangélistes (Québec 1894); La bonne sainte Anne. Sa vie, ses miracles, ses sanctuaires (Montréal 1896); Saint Joseph. Sa vie, son culte (Québec 1902); Le ciel, séjour des élus (Montréal 1912). The Life and Spirituality of Good Father Frederic Janssoone in His Own Words, ed. r. lÉgarÉ, tr. r. brown (Quebec 1973). Literature: o. lamontagne, Un témoin de l'autre monde: le père Frédéric dans l'intimité (Trois-Rivières, Québec 1960). r. lÉgarÉ, An Apostle of Two Worlds, tr. r. brown (Chicago 1958), tr. of Un apôtre des deux mondes: le père Frédéric Janssoone (Montréal 1953); Un grand serviteur de la Terre Sainte, le père Frédéric Janssoone (Trois Rivières, Québec 1965); Le bon père Frédéric, with c. baillargeon (Montreal 1988). h. lemay, Bibliographie et iconographie du Serviteur de Dieu le R. P. Frédéric Janssoone (Québec 1932). j.-f. motte, Frédéric Janssoone de Ghyvelde: franciscain apôtre du Christ en trois continents (Paris 1988). t. f. murphy, Our Lady's Herald. A Short Account of the Life of Father Frederick Janssoone (Trois Rivières 1965). Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 32 (1940) 516ff.
[k. i. rabenstein]