News Karnataka
Wednesday, April 24 2024

How a Simple Priest Became a Savior to Many Jewish Victims

Simple Friar Became a Savior
Photo Credit : Google

Capuchin Franciscan priests are always known for their love and service to the poor masses in our community, but here is an extraordinary case of a Friar and his contributions to the homeless on the streets of Paris in those earlier troubled days of World War II. 

On seeing how so many Jews suffered as a result of the Nazis, he took a decision to help these poor victims escape their sad situation. He joined the French Resistance, helping these Jews escape the Nazi horrors. From then on, he was lovingly known by the name Abbe Pierre. 

It all began on the 1st of February, many decades back in 1954, when the Capuchin priest spotted a woman on the streets of Paris, frozen to death with the cold. 

The Friar had, till then, lived like just another Capuchin priest, right from the time he was ordained as a young priest in 1938. He even founded a ministry for the poor and homeless of this region, which he named the Emmaus ministry. 

However, things changed on seeing the woman’s lifeless body out there in the cold and dressed in rags , bringing the priest face to face with the housing crisis that France faced as a result of the Nazi activity. 

What’s worse was that only a month later, the Friar witnessed another similar scene, this time with a baby. Knowing that it was time to act, he rushed to the radio office in Paris, which was then located in Luxemburg. 

On receiving a few minutes of air time, he made his plea to the masses, appealing for blankets, tents, stoves and other such necessities to help the poor fight the cold. He then set up emergency centers, which in no time, began to overflow with people who needed his help. The center saw more than 2000 people coming in each day. 

Help poured in from all directions too, with people donating blankets, clothing and money.  Today, Bishop Pascal Dellanoy from the solidarity council of French Bishops reflects on the contributions of the now old priest, saying, 

“Poverty is not inevitable. It can be fought.” And that the Friar sure did, living a life that was so typical of a Franciscan and his call, a call to share and a call to help, a call to be a little more like Jesus. 

Read Also:

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When Catherine O Hara Got a Priest at the Vatican in Trouble


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