Fratelli tutti

Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” on fraternity and social

friendship was signed in Assisi on October 3, 2020, the eve of the feast of St Francis.  It is addressed to believers and all people of good will, inviting them to seek together pathways to rebuild fraternity in our world that is so darkened by many kinds of divisions.  

At the end of the text Pope Francis cites the example of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, soon to be canonized, who lived as a brother among the Tuareg people in the southern Sahara and wanted to be a “universal brother” in the footsteps of Jesus. 

“Yet I would like to conclude by mentioning another person of deep faith who, thanks to his intense experience of God, made a journey of transformation to the point of feeling himself to be the brother of all.  I am speaking of Blessed Charles de Foucauld.  He directed his ideal of total surrender to God towards an identification with the poor and abandoned in the depths of the African desert.  In that setting, he expressed his desire to consider every human being as his brother or sister, and he asked a friend, ‘Pray to God that I may truly be the brother of all.’  He wanted to be, the ‘universal brother.’  Yet only by identifying with the least did he manage at last to become the brother of all.”