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
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
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
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'.