Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Blessed Charles De Foucauld: Another saint for losers

I love Charles De Foucauld - a cad of a young man turned penitent, turned priest and hermit.  He founded an order of religious but had no real followers until after his death.  Oddly enough, the example of his life led to not a few monastic vocation crashes, yet his spirituality became closely identified with the hidden, silent, loving action of the disregarded Jesus of Nazareth in the Blessed Sacrament.  He was killed, cast aside, with the monstrance containing the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, in the sands of the Sahara.

Blessed Charles ought to be the patron of new religious communities and failed religious founders.  I always thought his main problem was the Poor Clare abbess, Mother Elizabeth, who pushed him to become a priest.  Monks and priests - do not be misled by nuns.  ;)


  1. Many of the greats were unknown and failures in their own life -- I don't know why, other than maybe they had a share in some of the suffering of Christ, in the loneliness he felt when he was abandoned by his disciples? Plus, once they are dead, they no longer are a challenge, and so they can easily be sanitized.

  2. A Random Friar7:29 AM

    YOU try saying "no" to a nun! It'd be less painful to be martyred. ;)

  3. 4mercy7:45 AM

    Charles de Foucauld is one of my favorites! His writings are "drenched" with the Holy Spirit (can you say that?)

    Thanks for this post - I hope he becomes a saint soon!

  4. Your first grace, which I now see as the first glimmer of my conversion, was to let me know famine... You had the goodness to let me suffer from material difficulties. You let me know spiritual famine... and then, when I turned to so timidly toward you and prayed that strange prayer, "If you exist, let me know it," with what tenderness you ran to embrace me."

    "How good is the father of the prodigal son! But you are a thousand times more tender than he. You have done a thousand times more for me than he did for his son! You are so good, my Lord and my God! Thank you, thank you, thank you, forever thank you! The prodigal child was received without punishment, reproach, or dragging up the past. He was received with such ineffable goodness, with kisses, the finest robe, and a ring. Not only received, but sought after by this blessed Father and brought back by him from foreign lands." -Blessed Charles De Foucauld

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