Charles de Foucault: One of the First Explorers of Morocco, Will Be Canonized by the Church

The famous French monk and desert hermit Charles de Foucauld, who died at the beginning of the 20th century in the Algerian Sahara, will soon be canonized, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Pope Francis “authorized the publication of eight declarations recognizing several saints and martyrs (a person who is killed because of their religious),” the Vatican press office reported.

Thus, Pope Francis gave Charles de Foucauld, who died in 1916 in Algeria, a second miracle, paving the way for his upcoming canonization.

Charles de Foucauld was born into a family of aristocrats. He was a horseman in the French army and an explorer in Morocco.

After becoming a priest in the Parisian church of Saint-Augustin, he devoted himself to a life of faith and devotion to the Holy Spirit, first as a Trappist monk in Syria and Palestine, then as a hermit among the Tuaregs in the Algerian Sahara at the beginning of the 20th century.

Disguised as a Jew, he decided to explore Morocco from 1883 forward, a country then very little known in Europe.

This trip to the heart of Morocco from June 1883 to May 1884, and the considerable amount of information brought back, particularly geographical and ethnological, earned Charles de Foucauld the gold medal of the Geographical Society of Paris on 9 January 1885. At the Sorbonne, he was awarded the Academic Palms for his work.

He was murdered in 1916 in Tamanrasset, in the Algerian desert south.

His beatification process began in the 1930s, and he was declared “blessed” in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

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