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21 February

Pierre-Marie Delfieux, FMJ

Pierre was born on December 4, 1934, in Campuac (Aveyron, France) from a Christian family of six children. After graduating from high school he enters the Grand Séminaire in Rodez. He has to interrupt his studies to accomplish his military service. He volunteers to leave for Madagascar and, when he returns twenty-six months later, he finishes his theological studies in Toulouse. He is ordained a priest in 1961 and is appointed Vicar of the Cathedral in Rodez. In 1965, he joins the team of chaplains at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he organises pilgrimages for the young people, in Italy, the Holy Land and in the Sahara Desert, in the footsteps of Charles de Foucauld.

After seven years of this apostolate, during the difficult years of May 68, he asks to take a sabbatical year and chooses to spend a year that then becomes two, in the Sahara desert, where Charles de Foucauld had lived. He leaves bringing with him only his Bible and the Blessed Sacrament. One day the Little Brother of Jesus who lived in a hermitage nearby brings him a newspaper clipping telling that Cardinal Marty wishes for Paris a new community of monks for the year 2000. Pierre recognizes in this call his deepest desire and realises that the true desert today is in the city.

In June 1974, he leaves Assekrem and returns to France. He meets with Cardinal Marty and shares with him his desire of becoming a monk in the city. The Cardinal accepts and assigns him a church in the centre of Paris to start out the new community. On November 1st 1975, the first twelve brothers sing their first liturgy. A year later a community of sisters begins too.

In 2004, the Fraternités Monastiques de Jérusalem arrive in Montreal: it is the first foundation overseas. Fr Pierre-Marie comes often to Montreal to visit the brothers and sisters and also to give conferences and retreats. In 2005, he preaches the retreat to the bishops of Quebec in Trois-Rivières. In 2011, he discovers to be ill, but he continues accompanying and sustaining the different communities till his death on February 21, 2013.

QUOTATION: “There isn’t prayer, on the one hand, and life on the other… Life is in prayer and prayer is in life. For our whole life is already prayer…”

LINKS : http://www.jerusalem-montreal.org/ – http://jerusalem.cef.fr/