On the anniversary of his 1915 birth, Sargent Shriver, a Kennedy brother-in law, was just singled out by the daily Catholic prayer periodical, “This Day,” as one of its “Blessed Among Us.” The periodical dispenses the honor daily, often to saints.

“This Day” called Shriver a public servant whose work was “deeply rooted in his Catholic faith and the question he constantly asked himself, ‘what have I done to improve the lot of humanity?’”

Shriver was married to the late sister of President John F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He helped her to found the Special Olympics.

He also founded the Peace Corps and headed up President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. There Shriver launched Head Start, Legal Services for the Poor, VISTA, and the Job Corps, among other programs. He also presided over peace talks in Paris to end the Vietnam War.

Wrote his biographer Scott Stossel in The Atlantic after Shriver’s 2011 death, “A good case can be made that Shriver, through the programs he started and ran…may have positively affected more people around the world than any twentieth century American who was not a President or other major elected official or Martin Luther King.”

The root of his “self conception,” said Stossel, “was as a lay Catholic who always tried to model his life after the ethics of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. This has not been a passive pursuit. Always he was asking himself, ‘Am I living as Christ would want me to?’”

Shriver was a daily communicant, never without his rosary beads. When vacationing on Cape Cod over many summers, I’d see him at daily Mass with his wife, always in the second or third row at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville. While most of us wore hot and humid August casual, Shriver would wear a blue blazer and long pants and look entirely elegant. As Alzheimer’s, the disease that took his life, increased, he’d sometimes turn around and chat to parishioners behind him – but in a most charming, warm, and even mischievous way.

“This Day” ended its tribute with a quote from Shriver himself, “The saints and sages of the great religions have always agreed that a peace that passes understanding can be reached only by compassion. This is the ideal that must illuminate, from the very center, all of our effort to bring a better life to our world, within our own country, and in the farthest reaches of the planet.”