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Reaching out to Catholic/Christians Individuals/Families

18th July-St Frederick – Martyr & Saint

July 18: St. Frederick

Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the
central part of the Netherlands. When he was
ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in
charge of instructing converts. Around 825,
he was chosen to succeed Ricfried as bishop of
Utrecht. Bishop Frederick became acquainted with
the people of his diocese. He really cared about
them. He gave high priority to missionary work
too. In fact, he sent St. Odulf and other brave
priests to areas where the people were still pagan.
He wanted them to hear the Good News.

Because of his position as bishop, Frederick made
a few enemies. The emperor’s sons were very
outspoken about their stepmother’s immoral
living. They asked Bishop Frederick to speak to
Empress Judith. The bishop approached her
gently but honestly. The empress did not take
the advice well. She grew angry and was insulted.

Another challenge was the people who lived in
the northern part of Frederick’s diocese called
Walcheren. St. Frederick sent priests to bring
the people there the love of Jesus. Frederick
knew the area was dangerous and unfriendly.
He kept close to the priests whom he sent. He
encouraged them and tried to help the people
receive Christianity. But they were not ready to |
listen in any way. They resented the bishop’s
concern for them.

St. Frederick continued his care of the diocese
with love and diligence. Then on July 18, 838,
a tragedy happened. The bishop had just
celebrated Mass. He was quietly making his
thanksgiving when two men lunged at him with
knives. A sentence from Psalm 116 came to
mind. Slowly, the dying bishop prayed: “I walk
before the Lord in the land of the living.” A few
minutes later he died.

Some say Empress Judith sent the hired killers
because of her hatred for the bishop. Others
think the guilty party was the people from
Walcheren. The murderers were never caught
and convicted. But Bishop Frederick is honored
as a martyr and a saint.

Reflection: When we find ourselves fearful of
the things that surround our world, we may
want to slowly pray from Psalm 116: “I walk
before the Lord in the land of the living.”

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July 18, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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