He was deeply concerned about the beliefs and cultures of those he lived with. He spent 13 years in the Saraha learning about Tuareg culture, language, and compiling a Tuareg French dictionary. He was also a “brother,” to the people.
According to the priest, he wanted to “shout” the Gospel with his whole life and live his life so people could ask him: “If such is a servant, what should the Master look like?”
De Foucauld was the inspiration behind the creation of many lay associations, religious communities and secular institutes for laity and priests. They are collectively known as the “spiritual family of Charles de Foucauld”.
Pope Benedict XVI stated that de Foucauld, as a priest, had “put the Eucharist, and the Gospel at center of his life” during his beatification in 2005.
He said, “He discovered that Jesus, who came to unify himself with us in our humanity — invites you to that universal brotherhood he later experienced at the Sahara and to that love for which Christ set us an example.”
After meeting with Cardinal Angelo Becciu (prefect of the congregation saints’ causes), the pope approved a second miracle attributable to de Foucauld’s intercession, opening the way to his canonization in May 15.
This story originally appeared on May 27, 2020.
Hannah Brockhaus, senior Rome correspondent for Catholic News Agency, is her. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska and holds a degree from Truman State University, Missouri in English.