Illness has always brought me nearer to a state of grace.
When they are assailed by despair, young people should let universal concerns into their lives.
It’s true that humanity has seen a succession of crises, wars and atrocities, but this negative side is offset by advances in technology and cultural exchanges.
Providence was well aware what lay ahead for me, and my Capuchin training was to prepare me for it.
The process of my transformation came to a head with my discovery of St. Francis of Assisi during a pilgrimage I went on with a scout troop from my school.
I came from a wealthy family. I made over my share of the estate to various charities.
Those seven years in the cloister were the key to my life.
People are needed to take up the challenge, strong people, who proclaim the truth, throw it in people’s faces, and do what they can with their own two hands.
After the war, prompted by the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, I entered Parliament so that a priest could speak out for the poor, as canon law at that time still permitted.
My family background was deeply Christian.
The question I asked Georges has now become a general one – You, who thought you were superfluous, who thought there was no place for you in society, not only are you not superfluous, you are needed and so those who were beggars become givers.
What I would say to the young men and women who are beset by hopelessness and doubt is that they should go and see what is being done on the ground to fight poverty, not like going to the zoo but to take action, to open their hearts and their consciences.
Hope is not a matter of age.
It’s not enough to attend church and pray every Sunday; you have to act.