Charles de Foucauld underwent a strong conversion experience after living a life very far from God and then lived the rest of his life as an ascetic hermit. After his death, different groups of men and women religious were established according to his spirituality and among them the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus who have been very active in our Hebrew speaking Catholic communities since they were established and until today.

charles_blessedOn December 1, the Catholic Church remembers Charles de Foucauld who died as a martyr and was recognized as one of the beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. A priest who lived his last years as a hermit, was murdered alongside his hermitage in the Algerian desert on December 1, 1916.

Blessed Brother Charles was born into an aristocratic French family in 1858. He received a military education and then served in the French army in Morocco and in Algeria. In 1890, after a strong spiritual experience, he decided to leave the world behind and become a Trappist monk, first in France and then in Syria. In 1897, he left the monastery and moved to live as a hermit in Nazareth, in the convent of the nuns of Saint Clare. In 1901, he was ordained to the priesthood and went to live in the desert of Morocco and then Algeria. During long years he developed a friendship with the Tuareg people in the desert and was active in documenting their life and language, writing a dictionary and a grammar.

His spiritual heritage became widespread in France and beyond and groups of men and women religious were established which adopted the hidden life of the desert as a model. These men and women religious live a life of prayer but in the heart of day to day life, choosing to life with simple, poor people as their brothers and sisters. In Israel, there are a number of fraternities of these men and women religious, living their lives inspired by Blessed Brother Charles. Among the first pioneers of our communities there were Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, who are one among the 19 families of men and women religious world wide who live according to this spirituality.

Listen to his prayer sung in Hebrew here