Charles de Foucauld beatified in Rome

Charles de Foucauld was beatified yesterday in Rome, to the great joy of the members of the many different movements of Fraternities that he founded or inspired.

CLICK HERE"We are absolutely thrilled about his beatification," Alice Sutherland from the Lay Fraternity of Brother Charles of Jesus in Dublin, told CatholicIreland.net.

Cardinal Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints presided over yesterday's ceremony, during which Maria Pia Mastena and Maria Crocifissa Curcio were also beatified.

Ms Sutherland said that being part of the Lay Fraternity of Brother Charles has had a big impact in her life. "Charles de Foucauld was a universal brother to everybody. He lived a very austere life of poverty. I don't aspire to live his life, but to live the Gospel the way he did," she said, adding that she and all the members of the Lay Fraternity get tremendous support from each other. "You have to be a presence wherever you find yourself to radiate Christ to others," she said.

Charles de Foucauld was born in Strasbourg in 1858. The early loss of both his parents left a deep scar in him. During a difficult adolescence, he lost his faith and plunged into a life of pleasure and disorder. As a young army officer, aged twenty-two, he was sent to Algeria. Two years later, he left the army and undertook a risky exploration in Morocco.

On his return to France, touched by the affectionate and discreet welcome given by his deeply Christian family, he began to search for the truth. He met a priest who became for him a father and friend. In October 1886, at the age of 28, he went through a conversion experience.

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land revealed Jesus of Nazareth to him as a figure that fascinated him and whose example he would follow. Charles spent seven years in a Trappist Monastery, then four years in Nazareth as a hermit at the door of a Poor Clare covenant.

Ordained a priest in 1901, he left for the Sahara, settling at Benni Abbes and later at Tamnrasset, with the aim of becoming a friend and brother to the desert nomad. Although he was almost alone at his death his spirituality quickly led to the formation of many movements inspired by his life and writings.

Great joy as Charles de Foucauld beatified in Rome (catholicireland.net 11/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations - Blesseds | Charles de Foucauld
Dossiers speciaux - Beatification of Charles de Foucauld (Catholic Church in France)

Charles de Foucault heading for beatification (CathNews 20/12/04)
Newly-beatified Mother Rosa hailed as friend to the poor (CathNews 8/11/05

Nairobi to Celebrate Beatification of Charles De Foucauld (allAfrica.com 10/11/05)
The hidden life of Charles de Foucauld (National Catholic Reporter 11/11/05)
Charles de Foucauld to be beatified tomorrow at St Peter's (AsiaNews.it 12/11/05)
Charles de Foucauld, 2 others beatified Sunday (Catholic World News 11/11/05)
A father of the modern desert (Pittsburgh Catholic 4/11/05)
Charles de Foucauld: Sahara (Vatican Radio English Features 13/11/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Maria Crocifissa Curcio: Her Life (Zenit 10/11/05)
Maria Pia Mastena: Saw Jesus in the Sick and Poor (Zenit 11/11/05)

14 Nov 2005