The feast day of Bl. Charles de Foucauld is celebrated on December 1. He is the patron saint of diocesan priests. He was a hermit, priest and martyr.
Bl. Charles de Foucauld was born in Strasbourg, France on Sept. 25, 1858. His father was in the military. Orphaned at the age of six, he and his sister Marie were raised by their grandfather. Charles joined the military, becoming an officer. When his grandfather died, Charles lost his faith. During his period of doubt he repeatedly prayed,
“My God, if you exist, let me come to know you.”
Charles was discharged from the military for misconduct. At the age of 28, he regained his faith. After a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he decided to become a Trappist monk. He spent seven years as a Trappist monk, first in France and then in Syria. After deciding this was no longer God’s will, he was released from his vows. He became a servant for a convent of Poor Clares and began studying for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1901 at the age of 43. He wished to work with the poor and abandoned. In an attempt to begin a religious order he wrote a Rule for it to follow. However, he found few followers.
On Dec. 1, 1916, he was killed by a band of marauders who surrounded his house. Twenty years after his death religious orders began to form following his rule. The Little Brothers of Jesus, Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart and the Little Sisters of Jesus all follow the Rule written by Bl. Charles de Foucauld. An Association of diocesan priest known as Jesus Caritas also follow the spirituality of Bl. Charles de Foucauld.
Bl. Charles de Foucauld was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. He is the patron saint of diocesan priests.
Let us pray a great deal for the conversion of sinners,
since it was above all for them that Our Lord worked
and suffered and prayed.
Quote of Bl. Charles de Focauld
December is the Month of the Divine Infancy