Blessed Antoine Chevrier was a Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, and the founder of both the Sisters of Prado and the Institute of the Priests of Prado.
He was born on April 16 1825 in Lyon, Rhône, France and died on October 2 1879 at the age of 54 in Lyon, Rhône, France. We celebrate his feast day on October 2 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Blessed Antoine Chevrier Biography|
|Date of Birth||April 16 1825|
|Place of Birth||Lyon, Rhône, France|
|Profession||Roman Catholic priest|
|Date of Death||October 2 1879|
|Place of Death||Lyon, Rhône, France|
|Feast Day||October 2|
|Beatification||By Pope John Paul II on October 4 1986 in Lyon, France|
|Patron Saint of|
Blessed Antoine Chevrier Life History
He was the only child in a family of workers in the silk industry, Antoine Chevrier was baptized at the age of 2 days.
He made his First Communion in 1837, and in 1840, at age 14, he considered becoming a priest – and had such a sense of happiness at the idea that he knew he had a calling to the priesthood.
Antoine began his seminary studies in 1842. While studying, he considered joining the foreign missions, but his mother threatened to disown him.
Fr. Antoine’s first assignment was to the parish of Saint-André de la Guillotière, an area of the poorest of Lyon‘s poor. Antonie then dedicated himself to helping the poor, relieving some of the spirit-grinding misery in which they lived, and convincing others to do the same.
He preached against greed, helped organize charity, and on Christmas Eve 1856 while meditating before a Nativity creche and contemplating the humble beginnings of Christ on Earth, he felt a call to not just work with the poor himself, but to organize a religious congregation for others with the same dedication.
In January 1857 he sought the counsel of Saint John Marie Vianney on the matter, and the Cure of Ars encouraged him to follow the call.
Antonie received permission to leave parish work, and with the help of the layman Camille Rambaud, he began working with and sheltering poor children, abandoned children, factory working children, and those who had already been sent to prison as children.
In 1859, he joined the Franciscan Third Order, and on December 10 1860, he bought an old hall and converted it into a shelter and school for poor children as well as a chapel.
Throughout his life, Antoine Chevrier interacted one-on-one with about 2,400 boys and young men. In 1866 he opened a school for the boys who felt a call to priestly or religious life. He taught them how to work with young poor people
The group for boys became the Institute of the Priests of Prado, and the one for girls that was opened thereafter became the Sisters of Prado.
These two groups were often known as the Work of Prado. The first of the Priests of Prado were ordained in Rome, Italy in 1876.
Father Antoine Chevrier helped quell civil unrest in Lyon in 1871 by leading a Eucharistic procession through the streets on the Feast of Corpus Christi and no one on either side of the conflict dared disrupt such an event.
Antoine Chevrier wrote the books Disciple of Jesus Christ and God Sends Revolutions, which was a critique of priests who were devoted to comfort, worldly goods or careerism.
Though Antoine did not live to see it, the Work received diocesan approval in 1924, was made part of the Conventual Franciscans in 1930, received a decree of papal praise for their work by Pope John XXIII on 28 October 1959, and continues its good work today in dozens of countries.
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