Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Kev in Deva

Abbe Pierre, French campaigner for the poor, dies

Recommended Posts

Hallo Gents, :beer:

Abbe Pierre, French campaigner for the poor, dies

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22012007/325/abbe...-poor-dies.html

"PARIS (Reuters) - Abbe Pierre, a Roman Catholic priest who renounced wealth to campaign for the homeless and became one of France's most revered men, died on Monday aged 94.

French leaders hailed the outspoken priest as a tireless anti-poverty crusader and champion for the outcasts of society.

President Jacques Chirac said France had lost "an immense figure, a conscience, a man who personified goodness".

Abbe Pierre was admitted to a Paris hospital on January 14 suffering from bronchitis. He died at 5.25 a.m. (4:25 p.m. British time) on Monday after failing to recover from the lung infection.

The frail priest, who spent most of his life protecting people dumped on the margins of Western life, was little known outside France but was cherished at home as a modern-day saint.

"Abbe Pierre represented the spirit of rebellion against misery, suffering, injustice and the strength of solidarity," Chirac's statement said.

Born in 1912, Henri-Antoine Groues was the fifth child of a silk merchant but gave up his comfortable life to become a monk.

He took his nickname Abbe Pierre -- "abbe" is a traditional title for priests -- as a resistance chaplain during World War Two, when he forged ID papers to smuggle refugees out of France.

He began campaigning for the homeless in 1949 and shot to fame in 1954 when he went on air to demand shelter for thousands of people threatened with death during a bitterly cold winter.

His appeal set off a wave of sympathy, and his Emmaus chain of hostels for the homeless now covers 41 countries.

NATIONAL ICON

His militant stance in favour of the poor made him a national icon in his trademark black cape, beret and walking stick, and put him consistently ahead of entertainers and politicians in popularity polls.

Last year he came third in a television poll of the "Greatest Frenchman of All Time" behind World War Two leader Charles de Gaulle and the 19th-century scientist, Louis Pasteur.

The issue of homelessness returned to the top of the political agenda last month when a pressure group pitched tents for homeless people in Paris to draw attention to their plight.

Put on the defensive, the rightist government last week unveiled a bill that will give people a legal right to housing.

"(Abbe Pierre's) lifelong battle to help the most deprived sadly remains in the news this winter," said Segolene Royal, Socialist party candidate for the 2007 presidential election.

"The homeless should not feel orphaned. Abbe Pierre's long cry of anger should not be extinguished," she told RTL radio.

Abbe Pierre was a man of fierce convictions and compared at times to Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

But he was not always a model Roman Catholic. In 2005 he shocked the Church by speaking out for married and female priests and admitted to having broken his vows of chastity.

- - - END OF ARTICLE. - - -

R. I. P

Kevin in Deva.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes a little article like this is good for the morale, just to see there is a small kernal of selfless good n this world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Abbe Pierre had courage both on and not on battlefield.

He got the following medals :

* Grand Croix de la L?gion d'Honneur (he has been made for the 1st time Knight of the Legion d'Honneur for military merits in Novembre 1946)

* Medal of the Resistance

* War Cross 1939-45, with palms.

Ch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A wonderful human being. The world is a poorer place without him. He was not afraid to express his opinions. I wish some of the people in the Vatican would follow the example of such priests. He was right about celibacy too. Having gone through Catholic schools, I can vouch for the fact that the Catholic church has attracted more than its fair share of repressed pederasts, paedophiles and sundry malcontents. Furthermore, men who might never resort to sexual gratification with other men under normal circumstances find themselves swayed in an all-male environment. It's like prison. Or the navy. Mind you, buggery used to be legal in Royal Navy after forty days at sea without sight of land. So was eating the cabin boy, or so I was informed by an uncle who was a sailor. But I digress. Bonne route, Abb? Pierre!

PK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a pic of Abb? Pierre dated 1945.

He is wearing the Vercors Resistance patch and a ribbon bar.

The 1st row should be : Legion d'Honneur - M?daille de la R?sistance - 1939-1945 War Cross with palm.

But what are the medals of the 2nd row ? Not sure about them ? In the middle seems to be the Croix de la Valeur Militaire, but... :speechless1:

Ch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another post-War pic. More ribbons.

Same question for the 2nd and 3rd rows.

Ch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

April 2001, he becomes Grand Officier de la L?gion d'Honneur.

Ch.

Pic : Meigneux / Sipa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea about the medals of Abb? Pierre (see previous posts with 1945 and post-war pics) ?

Ch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A case where one man positively impacted the lives of many... RIP!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×