He was deeply committed to the faiths and cultures that he lived among. During his 13-year stay in the Saraha, he was able to learn about Tuareg culture. He also created a Tuareg French dictionary and was a “brother.”

The priest stated that he wanted “to shout the Gospel with my life” and to live so that people might ask: “If such a servant, how must the Master be like?”

De Foucauld was the catalyst for the establishment of several religious communities, lay associations, and secular institutions of priests and laity, collectively called “the spiritual family Charles de Foucauld.”

Pope Benedict XVI declared de Foucauld’s beatification in 2005 that he, as a priest had “put Jesus Christ and the Gospel central to his life.”

“He realized that Jesus — who came in order to unite us in our humanity – invites us into that universal brotherhood, which he later experienced on the Sahara, as well as to the love of Christ,” he stated.

After meeting with Cardinal Angelo Becciu prefect of congregation for saints’ causes, the pope approved another miracle attributed to de Foucauld’s Intercession, which paved the way for his canonization May 15.

This story first appeared in May 2020.

Hannah Brockhaus is the senior Rome correspondent at Catholic News Agency. She was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She holds a degree in English from Truman State University of Missouri.

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