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Charles De Foucauld
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Charles De Foucauld

Even though Charles de Foucauld was born in the 19th century, his life, struggles with sin and doubt and eventual and eternal embrace of Jesus Christ, is somehow both symptomatic and emblematic of our own time.

Charles was born into a family of French nobility with a reputation stretching back to the Crusades. Despite the wealth and name of his family lineage, Charles experienced one crucial blow after the other and by the time he was ten had lost both his mother and his father. He and his sister were taken in by their maternal grandparents but despite their love and nurturing, Charles grew into an angry, rebellious adolescent and by the time he was in his teens he had declared himself an atheist.

Following in his grandfather’s vocation, Charles entered the prestigious military academy of Saint-Cyr and with his vast inheritance devolved into an overweight and ridiculed cadet who indulged in every sin and debauchery he could. As much as he declared his hatred of God, it was actually himself that he loathed. After receiving his commission he slimmed down, got serious about his soldiering and developed into a respected young officer who distinguished himself in several skirmishes in France’s Saharan provinces.

Charles developed a passion for the desert and resigning his commission turned his energies to exploring previously uncharted regions of the Sahara. In 1885 he was awarded high honors by the Paris Geographic Society. Charles, was, however, still restless and empty without a belief in God but a chance encounter in confession with a Parisian priest known for his piety and sermons, Charles had an immediate experience of Christ as well as his own sinfulness and reconverted to the Church and the sacraments.

Following his rebirth in the Faith, Charles desperately sought to live the life of a hermit but his spiritual father saw that he needed the discipline and structure of community life first. For several years Charles lived as a Trappist brother, first in France and then in Syria, but his desire for a life of poverty, solitude and what he called “total abjection” left him restless and unsatisfied. After leaving the Trappists, Charles lived as a free-agent hermit in Nazareth while acting as a handyman for a convent of Poor Clare nuns. When they convinced him to return to France a get ordained a priest in 1901, Charles was free to pursue his dream of living a life of solitude, hospitality and emulation of Christ’s hidden ministry in Nazareth.

Charles received permission from the French colonial officials to begin his ministry as a priest and hermit in the desert of southern Algeria; a difficult endeavor since at the time France had a government that was militantly anti-Catholic and anti-clerical. Charles’s goal, however, was not to preach and convert but to live among the poor Muslims of the region as a friend and brother.

For fifteen years Charles worked and ministered among the Berber and Tuareg peoples of the Sahara as well as the French soldiers who at first ridiculed him and resisted his witness of charity. Charles used money from his family in France to alleviate the suffering of the local people as well as to build a series of hermitages and chapels he hoped to use as a novitiate for his Little Brothers of Jesus religious institute he intended to found. Although he ransomed several slaves and a few young men from France evinced an interest in his Fraternity, Charles attracted no converts or followers although his fraternity flourished after his death. Charles was killed in 1916 by tribesmen opposed to the French colonial presence in the Sahara and was beatified in 2005.

The Charles De Foucauld tile was created in 2020. Our 12" X 12" signed and numbered reproduction is created on stretch canvas and is suitable for matting and framing. 

Charles De Foucauld
Charles De Foucauld - $ 150.00 USD

Signed reproduction on 12" x 12" stretched canvas.

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Your complete satisfaction is our goal. If any item does not meet your expectations, send it back to us within 90 days for an exchange or a full refund of the purchase price.

Shipping and Handling

Shipping and handling cost is $10.95 per icon shipped.