Centenary Bl. Charles de FoucauldDecember 7, 2016 10:52 am
December 1st 2016
Centenary of the death of
Blessed Father Charles de Foucauld
(1858 – 1916)
“Dear ND des Neiges where I received the holy habit,
And where the Good Lord has given me so many graces. ”
Letter of July 14, 1890 to Father Eugene
Charles de Foucauld, known in religion as Brother Marie-Alberic, entered Notre Dame des Neiges on January 16, 1890.
He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on November 13, 2005. His canonization is hoped for, requested and awaited.
Born in 1858, the year of the apparitions of Lourdes, he had a youth at once golden and painful. His parents and his grandmother died when he was a child. A turbulent adolescence led him to a military life somewhat faulty. His dazzling but lasting return to God was the fruit of his meeting with the prayerful people of Islam, the enlightened Christians of his family and Father Huvelin who prompted him to make his confession in 1886 as he wanted to “be educated in the truths of the Catholic faith.” His religion becomes his love.
After the beginning of his religious life at ND des Neiges, he spent 7 years in Syria in a monastery dependent on ND des Neiges: ND du Sacré Coeur in Cheiklé, near Akbès (at that time in Turkey). He left the Cistercian Order on February 14, 1897, on the eve of his solemn vows, with the permission of Dom Wyart, then Abbot General.
Charles becomes Brother Charles of Jesus, a priest of the diocese of Viviers (Ardèche-France). It was at Notre Dame des Neiges that he prepared for his ordination and where he celebrated his first Mass on June 10, 1901. He then went to Beni Abbes, Tamanrasset and then to the Hoggar … He went “from beginnings to beginnings by beginnings that have no end.” Although not outwardly manifested, he remained deeply attached to everything he received at the Trappist monasteries of Neiges and Cheiklé. It was there that, in charge of the formation of young aspirants to the monastic life, he had begun to present them with “meditations on the gospel” … rather than repeating the Usages!
The course of his life was cut short in the distant shocks of the 1st worldwar: he was assassinated the 1stof December 1916.
In his lifetime he would have no disciples, but a multitude of believers, prayerful people and apostles of our time who take him as a model. He writes: “We should not interfere with the temporal government, but we must love justice and hate iniquity … But if a temporal government commits a grave injustice, we must tell them so … We do not have the right to be sleeping sentries or mute dogs “…
With Saint Teresa of Lisieux, he is a beacon for the 20th century!
Today, at ND des Neiges there are only a few buildings that would be known by Father de Foucauld. On the other hand, since his beatification, a chapel, where a relic is venerated, was dedicated to him (in 2006). A memorial site also brings together some memories.
“My Father I give myself up to you,
you will do with me what you please”
Prayer of Abandonment
“I want to accustom all men, Christians, Muslims, Jews and idolaters,
to regard me as their brother, the universal brother”
Letter to Madame de Bondy, January 1902
“One must go through the desert and stay there
to receive the grace of God”
Letter of May 19, 1898, to Father Jérôme de ND des Neiges
Categorised in: General News