Letter from Blessed Charles de Foucauld

Translation of this signed letter of Blessed Charles de Foucauld:



Tamanrasset, par In Salah via Biskra

15 July 1915

Very dear friend,

Thank you for your pleasant letter of 20 April. I thank God for your good health, that of Mrs. Lutoslawski and of your son. Along with you I am praying for Poland, so afflicted (in this conflict), and that God will keep safe all of your loved ones, and that He will ensure a victorious peace founded on justice and right, and that a great calm will follow this storm.

Here the country is experiencing great tranquillity, as is Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, the French Soudan, and all of French Africa. We are far removed here among the Touaregs from the war in Europe.

Ouksem (a Touareg friend of Foucauld) has left for far-off pastures. He is at more than 600 kilometers from here for an undetermined length of time…this is neither favourable to family life nor to instruction. Nomadism and barbarity are inseparable; barbarity can exist without nomadism, but nomadism does not exist without barbarity.
My close family (and friends), who are in action (in the war) are well. God has kept them from harm for the present. Of the various regions of France where I have relatives, none is occupied by the enemy.

I receive mail every 18 days, which brings telegrams, the most recent of which dates from a month ago, and letters and newspapers much older. You can understand with what impatience I await these rare arrivals and how at every hour I wonder how everything is going in this war, on which the fate of our countries, Europe, the world, the freedom of peoples and civilization depends.

From my younger days spent in the army, I still have close friends who have remained soldiers and who are all at the front. Their confidence in victory is unanimous, but not one among them will hazard a guess at a date. This war is a war of attrition, in which time is on our side and where it is to our advantage to play for time.

Goodbye for now, dear friend and brother in Christ. Let us pray together for our countries, for victory for our armies, and that justice and right will prevail.
Please pay my respects to Madame Lutoslawski.

Your affectionate and devoted brother in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Charles de Foucauld

Thank you very much for the very interesting documents from the Chamber of Commerce in Paris that you were so good as to send me.

Papal Artifacts gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Dr. Jennifer Walski, PH.D, translator.