Nazareth: an evening dedicated to the life of Charles de Foucauld
NAZARETH – In the framework of the centenary year of Brother Charles de Jesus’ death, an evening was held on Saturday March 12, 2016, to commemorate the Blessed and his stay in Nazareth.
In March 1897, late in the evening, a stranger, dressed as a poor man, worn out after a strenuous walk, arrived in Nazareth and knocked on the door of the Franciscans hospice asking to stay in that night. That man was no else than Blessed Charles de Foucauld. If he had spent only three years in the town where Jesus grew up, all his life will be marked with Christ’s childhood spirituality .
In the framework of the centenary year of Brother Charles de Foucauld’s death, the Little Brothers of Jesus Caritas, the Little Sisters of Jesus, in conjunction with Al Sabeel association, organized an evening for the locals of Nazareth round the figure of Charles de Foucauld. On a round table at Cinemana Theater, many participants shared their vision of this western man who managed to integrate perfectly well into the life and mentality of the East.
This event follows two evenings organized for the centenary: the opening evening on October 30th and ‘24 hours of adoration for peace’ which took place at the liturgical feast day of the Blessed Charles de Foucauld on December 1, 2015. The radio animator Farah Fahmi orchestrated the evening, and the Palestinian musician Elias Qassis accompanied the reading of the opening word: an article by Lutuf AL Hagg written in 1950, one year after the arrival of the Little Sisters of Jesus in Nazareth.
The researcher Khaled Awad showed some pictures of the town at the time of Charles de Foucauld; Dr. Suzy Srouji told some anecdotes about his life and some reflections linked to his spirituality. Ala Abu Rahmoun interpreted the hymn “Abati” (“Father, I yield unto you”) which repeats the prayerful words of Brother Charles de Jesus.
The highest point of the evening was the speech of Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah, bringing forth a deep reflection on the figure of Charles de Foucauld. He insisted on the idea of “universal brotherhood” which Blessed Charles had lived more particularly during his stay in the Sahara desert, alongside the Touaregs.
The organizers, namely Brother Marco Cosini, the community of the Little Brothers of Jesus Caritas and Violette Khoury, chairwoman of Al Sabeel of Nazareth, expressed their gratitude towards participants who came in large numbers. The residents of Nazareth, Christians as well as Muslims, are still attached to the figure of Charles de Foucauld and are urged to take him as an example in order to build a society based on brotherhood without borders.
Brother Marco Cosini, jc