[HomePage] Marthe Robin: A Chosen Soul

Marthe Robin: Charity and Love
by David Fanning


Marthe Robin: Charity and Love
A Meeting with Marthe Robin
Marthe Robin: A Chosen Soul
The First Foyer of Charity
Some Prayers Composed by Marthe Robin
Daily Prayers in the Foyers of Charity
A Retreat in a Foyer of Charity

Heroic witness and prophet

A woman of great courage and strength, with a deep love of Christ and the Church, Marthe Louise Robin was born on 13 March 1902 at Châteauneuf-de-Galaure, near Lyons in south-eastern France; she died there on 6 February 1981, aged 78, having been bedridden and almost totally paralysed or more than half a century.

Marthe Robin was a straightforward countrywoman with a gentle and witty turn of phrase, ready always to listen to anyone and advise them where to turn in their hour of need. She spoke easily and knowledgeably of prayer, of God, of Jesus, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She was widely loved and greatly revered, and her funeral in 1981 was attended by thousands of mourners, including six bishops and more than 200 priests.

During her lifetime and in the years since, her message and example and her spiritual fervour and encouragement have given great inspiration and direction to many men and women, of all ages and from all walks of life.

She had a particularly deep and burning devotion to Our Lady, and tried to live in the closest union with Christ, dedicating her sufferings to him and ready to share fully in his passion and death.

In October 1930, she received the stigmata, the marks of the passion, and each Friday thereafter she underwent the most racking and intense pains of his death on the Cross.
In her prayers, Our Lord revealed a vision of a new Pentecost of love.

God's call was for the renewal of the Church, through the apostolate of consecrated lay men and women living together in communities of prayer and work. The communities would be called 'Foyers de Lumière, de Charité et d'Amour' - centres or homes of light, charity and love.

This was Marthe Robin's principal message: we must follow Jesus with the help and power of Mary.
During her life, Marthe met tens of thousands of people who visited her at home in the small room to which she was confined for most of her life.

She spent around ten minutes with each visitor, enjoying an open and free conversation that often shed light on a person's problem or concern and always ended with a simple prayer.

In addition to those men and women she met at her bedside, she dealt with an unending flow of letters, despite losing her sight when she was only 38.

She left a quantity of influential spiritual writings, and many of her insights, inspirations and instructions were written down by Père Georges Finet, her spiritual director and co-founder of the worldwide network of Foyers de Charité.

Her writings and spiritual counsel both illuminated the problems and challenges facing the Catholic Church in her own lifetime and foreshadowed today's calls for evangelization and renewal and for more lay involvement in the Church.

She was one of the most inspiring women of the present century, a rare and heroic witness to the passion and death of Jesus Christ, an extraordinary Christian and, in the words of one of her biographers, 'a treasure of the Church'.

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