Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 1st December 2022: Charles de Foucauld, Hermit (1858-1916)

Hermit Monk Jesus Matthew 11

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 11

Charles de Foucauld

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember Charles Eugène de Foucauld. He was born in 1858, in Strasbourg, and led a dissipated life as a young cavalry officer. In 1883, he went on an expedition to Morocco where he developed a passion for north Africa and its ways. Four years later he returned to the Catholic faith of his infancy and, after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, became a Trappist monk. Desiring an even more austere life in 1897 he became a servant to the Poor Clares in Jerusalem and Nazareth. He was eventually ordained priest in 1901 and went to live as a hermit in Algeria, ending up at Tamanrasset. He became fluent in the local language and his care and concern for the local tribes-people made him accepted and much loved.

He composed Rules for brothers and for sisters, though none ever actually joined him, He was assassinated on this day in 1916, a victim of local religious Tuareg wars. The Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart were founded in 1933, inspired by his rule for sisters, and his writings also inspired René Voillaume and others to adopt a life based on his rule, eventually becoming The Little Brothers of Jesus in 1945. (Taken from 'Exciting Holiness' Collects and Readings for the Festivals and Lesser Festivals of the Church of England)

We cannot all become hermits, but we can learn to lay our burdens on Christ this day, and trust in His plans for our life.


Lord Jesus Christ,
You promised us rest for our souls
when we take Your yoke upon us.
Teach us so to come to You
and lay our burdens on You,
that we will continue to grow closer to You,
and in doing so will receive eternal rest.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to learn more about Trappist monks today, within the Roman Catholic Church, look at this site:

Trappist monks today

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