February 1, 1954. Abbot stone launches on radio Luxembourg what will remain as “the insurrection of kindness”. The 70th anniversary of this call for solidarity is commemorated this year by a series of cultural events. The memory sequence opens at Citéco (17th century)this May 12, with an exhibition dedicated to the man who fought poverty all his life.
The City of the Economy has requested the Abbé Pierre Foundation to tell in 13 large panels the highlights of the life of the religious. Each ends with a verbatim of the hero in a cock. “The world changes every time someone shares,” reads the first.
From her birth, in a well-to-do Catholic environment, to her commitment as a resistance fighter, ping through the deputation, twice until 1951, the photos reveal a life and also show the woman in the shadows, Lucie Coutaz. They met in the resistance, they will found together the Emmaus movement.
His appeal for donations in the winter of 1954
The appeal for donations in the winter of 1954 exceeded all expectations. The mounds of warm clothes deposited by Parisians at the Gare d’Orsay were so high that they threatened the ground to collapse on the metro. A rare photo, that of the abbot who survived the sinking of his boat, in Argentina, in the summer of 1963. Spotted in newspaper clippings in South America.
“He carried a prophecy within him”
We go through its great victories, such as the law on the fight against exclusion, the creation of the High Committee for the housing of disadvantaged people, the SRU law which imposes a quota of social housing on municipalities. His venerable resistance, too, when he refused the Legion of Honor in 1992. His humility. When the favorite person of the French people is tired of being extolled for 17 years in a row and asks Ifop in 2004 to no longer appear in this ranking. Place for young people. Zidane takes over. A photo immortalizes the two illustrious, in the middle of Swiss vineyards.
Laurent Desmard, President of the Abbé Pierre Foundation, worked alongside him for 25 years. “He was not bluffing, he was whole and always expressed a very strong empathy for the poorest. He carried a prophecy within him. Every time we came to tell him that we had managed to accommodate 30 people, he asked And the others ? » Abbé Pierre drew everyone behind him, thanks to his energy, his determination, his oratorical art. “We felt caught up, we understood that he needed us to meet his challenges, we had to help him. »
This exhibition will be accompanied by other cultural events. A children’s book will be published by Gallimard in September, in the “Les grandes vies” collection. In October, a comic strip at Casterman will tell the life of Abbé Pierre as well as five podcasts, co-produced by the Foundation and Bababam.
Finally, on November 15, Frédéric Tellier’s film, “L’abbé Pierre, une vie de combats”, will be released in cinemas with Benjamin Lavernhe and Emmanuelle Bercot. “The younger generations don’t know him. They must realize, through his fight, that we can make things happen despite the difficulties. And to understand that to succeed in one’s life is also to help humanity”, recalls Laurent Desmard, always moved to see how much the French participate in calls for donations.
This faithful remembers what Abbé Pierre said to him, a few days before his death, in January 2007. “Do you realize how lucky we are to help others? »
“Abbé Pierre, waging war on poverty”exposure to Citeco(17th century), until November 5, 2023. From 6 to 12 euros.