A man from the state of Kerala in India recounts his conversion story. The story is printed in “The Angelus” which is the online version of The Tidings, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Victim of Jihad: The Life and Death of Charles de Foucauld
Today, there is talk of war, of jihad, reports of hostage taking, unspeakable atrocities and, now, a hellish public slaying. Almost a century ago there was similar talk. The war in question, however, was the Great War, and, on that occasion, the public slaying was not that of a Western journalist but of a Frenchman named Charles de Foucauld.
Born, on September 15, 1858, into a wealthy aristocratic family, de Foucauld was to have an unhappy childhood. His father suffered from depression, his mother was left to raise the boy and his elder sister. The cloud that hung over the home finally burst when, aged only six-years-old, the boy lost both parents in a matter of months. Any pretense at a normal life was now ended.
The child, willful from the start, was sent away to school by relatives. It proved of little value, he learnt virtually nothing, but he didn’t need to, for, in just a few years he would be rich. He studied little other than the cuisine that was on offer, gaining the name of a glutton. By then an agnostic, it wasn’t long before other desires surfaced and, in turn, enslaved him.
With family honor at stake, he was sent into the army: good for nothing else, the opinion was that the military would instil some discipline. Their hopes proved unfounded as his indiscipline continued. The endless stationary hours of barrack life only appeared to make matters worse with his attention now solely focused on pleasure. To his family, he was fast becoming an embarrassment, to the military a liability.
When at last the call came for his regiment to leave France for Algeria, he was excited. For all his debauched ways, he still wanted to be a soldier. This did not last for long though as he insisted on taking along his latest mistress. By now, his military superiors had had enough. On her discovery, de Foucauld was dismissed in disgrace from the army.
To read the rest of this fascinating story of how Charles’s life turned into a life of prayer and sacrifice, eventually leading to his death go to:
At wedding, pope says spouses make each other better men and women.
VATICAN CITY Presiding over the wedding of 20 couples in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated marriage as the union of a man and woman playing complementary roles during their common journey through life.
“This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man,” the pope said Sunday. “Here we see the reciprocity of differences.”
The pope spoke during a wedding Mass for couples from the diocese of Rome.
Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.
A groom exchanges rings with his bride during their wedding mass officiated by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica today. Credit: Giampiero Sposito/Reuters
Pope Francis married 20 couples today, some of whom had already lived together and had children, in the latest sign that the Argentine pontiff wants the Catholic church to be more open and inclusive.
In the first wedding he has performed since becoming the head of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics 18 months ago, Francis took each couple through their vows in turn. Many already had children and thought such a marriage would be impossible, according to the Vatican’s radio station.
"The people getting married on Sunday are couples like many others," the diocese of Rome said. "Some already live together, some already have children."
The ceremony was the first of its kind in the Vatican since Pope John Paul II presided over a wedding in 2000.
Pope Francis has said the church must end its obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality, and become more merciful, or risk collapsing “like a house of cards”.
"Traditionally, Christians in Iraq (specifically in Christian towns) put a Cross that lights up at night on top of their homes starting the first week of September in preparation for the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Although the refugees are out of their homes and they themselves are carrying their cross every day, some maintained the tradition by placing a Cross by their tents in their refugee camps as a reminder of their tradition and faith. May their faith increase more and more and may the Cross of Jesus give them light, strength and life instead of darkness, weakness and death that they are experiencing every day."