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Nine days in the life of Charles de Foucauld: December 1, 1916, the prayer of the end

2022-05-23T05:16:41.816Z

WEB SERIES 9/9 - Le Figaro Hors-Série devotes an issue to the father of the desert, canonized on Sunday May 15. Falling into a trap, Charles opens up to his attackers. One of them panics and shoots the white marabout. The bullet hit the head.



He is alone in the fort which was built, under his directive, to protect the inhabitants of Tamanrasset against the rezzous.

He himself moved there on the advice of the soldiers of Fort Motylinski who fear for his life.

On the other side of the border with Tripolitania, the Senoussists, members of a radical brotherhood hostile to the French presence in the Sahara, are multiplying the helping hand.

Supported by the Turks, allies of the Germans, they succeeded in seizing a fort and seek to raise the Tuareg tribes.

The white marabout is an obstacle for the insurgents because he urges them not to listen to their calls for revolt.

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Read alsoNine days in the life of Charles de Foucauld: in 1876, he was received at Saint-Cyr

Charles rarely leaves the bordj.

He works there, sleeps and prays.

He finished copying his Tuareg-French dictionary, put together a more summary lexicon for French officers and rewrote the statutes of the Union of Brothers and Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which has about fifty members, including he has had little news since the declaration of war.

He, who did not read any newspaper, now subscribes to Les Echos de Paris and La Dépêche Algérienne in order to keep abreast of the fighting that has been going on in Europe for two years.

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FILE – Charles de Foucauld, a voice in the desert

He has almost no hair.

His face is streaked with wrinkles.

Her body floats in her gandourah.

Charles never fully recovered from the aftermath of a horned viper bite.

Scurvy also left its mark.

Lucid, he wrote his will.

He asks to be buried where he will die, in a very simple grave, surmounted by a wooden cross.

One day, in his diary, made up of old envelopes, he wrote a quote from Saint Teresa of Avila: “Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you, everything passes.

God does not change.

Patience gets everything.

When you have God, nothing is missing.

God alone suffices.

» He is at peace with himself since he accepted to have only the role of clearer, because such is the will of Christ.

Others will sow.

Still others will reap.

It's a chain.

It is only one link.

Read alsoNine days in the life of Charles de Foucauld: the great maneuvers

Night falls on Tamanrasset.

Charles, abandoning his corrections, his dictionaries and his mail, sinks in prayer before the tabernacle in the chapel.

Suddenly, someone knocks on the door.

He asks who is going there.

A voice that seems familiar answers: "Elbochta", the mail.

Charles opens the door a crack, holds out a hand.

Someone already grabbed it on the wrist.

Other arms grip him, pull him outwards.

His wrists are tied behind the back with a rope tied at the ankles.

He remains motionless, mute, sitting on his heels.

He prays.

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit…” For a long time he wished to end his existence like the martyrs who “exhale their soul in Jesus, through Jesus, like Jesus, for Jesus”.

Will God grant him this grace?

Suddenly, one of the attackers

shouts: “Arabs!

Arabs!

These are camel riders who make their rounds and have, no doubt, detected suspicious movements on the side of the bordj.

Several shots ring out.

Charles de Foucauld did not even open his eyes.

He does not see that his guardian has brought his weapon to his head.

A new shot bursts in the night: Paul, his former servant, who attends the scene, will testify that the body of the Christian marabout has slowly tipped to the side.

The attackers will loot the fort, before leaving behind a fourth victim.

One of the camel riders, carrying the mail.

He does not see that his guard has brought his weapon to his head.

A new shot bursts in the night: Paul, his former servant, who attends the scene, will testify that the body of the Christian marabout has slowly tipped to the side.

The attackers will loot the fort, before leaving behind a fourth victim.

One of the camel riders, carrying the mail.

He does not see that his guard has brought his weapon to his head.

A new shot bursts in the night: Paul, his former servant, who attends the scene, will testify that the body of the Christian marabout has slowly tipped to the side.

The attackers will loot the fort, before leaving behind a fourth victim.

One of the camel riders, carrying the mail.

Everything became silent again.

Several inhabitants of Tamanrasset, who had not dared to leave their homes, gathered near the bordj.

They discover Abd Isa's body and go to bury him, dressed in his bloodstained gandourah.


On December 21, Captain de la Roche arrived at Tamanrasset with a detachment.

He raises the tomb and orders his men to erect a wooden cross.

Later, General Laperrine, sent again on a mission to the Sahara, had his friend's grave moved and replaced the wooden cross with a larger one.

Victim of an air accident in 1920, François Henri will rest for several years with Charles in Tamanrasset.

The cover of

Figaro Hors-Série

Charles de Foucauld, a voice in the desert Private collection-Color by Klimbim et Fond

Charles de Foucauld, a voice in the desert

, 164 pages, €12.90, available on newsstands and Figaro Store.

Source: lefigaro

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