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A friend of Henri Vergès

10/05/2019: General House

A hundred page booklet entitled "Chistian de Chergé y los martires de Argelia" (Herder, Barcelona 2019) has fallen into my hands. In its pages there are numerous connections with Brother Henri Vergès' writings. Thus we read in his correspondence that he participated in the Ribat-el-Salam, a space of exchange of prayer between Christians and Muslims. Henri himself assumed the responsibility of publishing in El Ribat what was experienced in the meetings of this group.
 
One of the regular participants of the meetings is Christian, the prior of Tibhirine. He is a figure who has Marist roots in his formation. In the aforementioned book I read: "Christian is studying in Paris, at Santa Maria College, Monceau Street, of the Marist Fathers. There he leaves the memory of a reserved boy, with a touch of shyness, delicate and happy, a very good pupil. He established some solid friendships there, in particular with Vincent Deprez, who would later become a Benedictine monk in the monastery of Ligugé, with whom he would maintain a fluid correspondence. Christian will be a scout, first a wolf and then a raider in the troop of the school".
 
The rest of the book is to be read in moments of prayer or rest. It's worth it. Christian and Henri are two parallel lives in the house of Islam. Their paths were intertwined in the love of the different, even the one who is considered an enemy. His testimony is an emotional statement of the desire for reconciliation and respect for Muslims and Islam. And together they shared the honour of beatification on the same day as part of the group of Algerian martyrs.
 
H. Antonio Martínez Estaún, Postulator General

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