By ZENIT Staff
The Vatican has recognized a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Francis Charles de Foucauld (Charles of Jesus) ((1858-1916), diocesan priest, thus opening the way to his canonization.
On receiving the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, on May 26, 2020, the Catholic Church recognized five miracles in all, seven martyrs and the “heroic virtues” of a baptized faithful: in fact, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate eight Decrees that day.
A second miracle, attributed to the intercession of Charles de Foucauld took place in 2016 — year of Charles de Foucauld’s centenary — at Saumur, in the Loire region of France. It was the inexplicable survival of a workman who, working in the loft of a chapel, being “above the vault” fell on some obstacles; stones fell, he impaled himself on pieces of wood, but he got up safe and sound, said Father Vincent Artarit, priest of the Charles de Foucauld parish at Saumur to the microphone of RCF. “the workman is unscathed; he was examined by doctors in France and in Italy. They all concluded the inexplicable event of this man’s life . . . In the Charles de Foucauld parish, it is linked to the centenary, with a correlation between prayer, the spiritual life and the link between the parish and Charles de Foucauld.”
Charles de Foucauld was born at Strasbourg on September 15, 1858. He was orphaned at the age of 5 years, reads a biographical note published by Monsignor Claude Rault, Bishop of Laghouat, in Algeria.
“He began a life that was at once exciting and tormented,” writes Monsignor Rault. “During his secondary studies he lost his faith, bartering his taste for study for an easy life and happy companions. Linked to a companion, he refused to break with her when he was sent to Algeria, and he left the army. However, learning that his regiment was going to leave on an operation, he left his girlfriend and returned to Algeria! It was the year 1881.”
At 24, Charles de Foucauld left military life definitively. Between 1882 and 1884 he went on exploration to Morocco. While there, he lived important spiritual experiences. “Islam caused a profound upheaval in me. The sight of that faith, of those men living in the continual presence of God made me perceive something grater and truer than my worldly occupations,” he wrote.
At the end of October 1886, he met Abbot Huvelin in Paris. He went to Confession and Communion. It was the beginning of a new life.
After seven years of contemplative searching (in the Holy Land, as a Trappist monk in France and then in Syria. He left the monastic life and arrived at Nazareth, at the convent of the Poor Clare Sisters (1897): While there, he divided his time between manual work, long hours of Adoration and of meditation of the Scriptures. His profound vocation matured there.
He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1901 in the Diocese of Viviers. He asked to return to the Sahara and he left for Beni Abbes in Algeria, where he stayed for two years. “I want all the inhabitants to get used to me and to regard me as their brother, a universal brother,” he wrote.
“Through shadows and lights, Charles de Foucauld opened for us to the sense of universal fraternity. This dimension of every evangelical life is urgent in our times. He invites us to come out of our feebleness and our confinements and follow the path traced,” writes Monsignor Rault.
In August 1905 Father Charles established himself at Tamanrasset, in the south of Algeria. There he lived “an existence torn between prayer, study, contacts with the Tuaregs and a disputed relation with French soldiers present in the region.” He worked on Touareg poems (6000 transcribed and deciphered verses), and left a 4-volume Touareg dictionary, which” is still authoritative.”
On December 1, 1916 he was made a prisoner by a group of Senoussite warriors, he was killed by his young guard, seized by panic.
Pope Benedict XVI beatified him on November 13, 2005. In October 2005 he said: “I greet particularly the members of the General Chapter of the Little Sisters of Jesus, called to pursue the proclamation of the Gospel in the spirit of Brother Charles de Foucauld, who will soon be beatified. May he be a model of spiritual abandonment in the hands of the Lord for all the Institutes that were born of his intuition and for all Christians.”
On November 213, 2005 he said, in connection with the Beatification: “Charles de Foucauld, who has just been beatified, invites us to follow spiritually the way of Nazareth and the silence he lived in the desert. In fact, it is from there, with Mary, that we can discover the mystery of Christ, who made Himself humble a poor to save us, to make us children of the same Father and brothers in humanity. As Brother Charles, let us draw in the Eucharistic mystery and in contemplation the strength for the existence and for the testimony by which we contribute to evangelization.”
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