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Kenya celebrates beatification of Charles de Foucauld

 The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, His Excellency Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, celebrated a special Mass at St Joseph the Worker Parish Kangemi yesterday, on the same day as the Servant of God, Charles de Foucauld was beatified at the Vatican. Last Thursday, the Light Heart of Jesus Youth Group of St John Catholic Church Korogocho, presented a play titled: A Grain of Wheat: The Life of Charles De Foucauld, at the Italian Institute of Culture in Westlands, Nairobi. Charles de Foucauld was born in Strasbourg in 1858. The early loss of both his parents left a deep scar in him. During a difficult adolescence, he lost his faith and plunged into a life of pleasure and disorder. As a young army officer, aged 22, he was sent to Algeria. Two years later, he left the army and undertook a risky exploration in Morocco. On his return to France, touched by the affectionate and discreet welcome given by his deeply Christian family, he began to search for the truth. He met a priest who became for him a father and friend. In October 1886, at the age of 28, he converted. A pilgrimage to the Holy Land revealed the figure of Jesus of Nazareth, a figure that fascinated him and whose example he would follow. Charles spent seven years in a Trappist Monastery, then four years in Nazareth as a hermit at the door of a poor Clare convent. Ordained a priest in 1901, he left for the Sahara, settling at Benni Abbes and later at Tamnrasset, with the aim of becoming a friend and brother to the desert nomads, by learning their language and entering their culture. On 1 December 1916, at the Hogger in the Central Sahara, he was killed in his home by robbers. Source: CISA * See also the VIS report in this mailing, of the Beatification ceremony in Rome.