Abbe Pierre

by Nydia from San Diego

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"Giving people a bed and a reason to get out of it "("Biography Abbe Pierre"). Abbe Pierre, a French Priest dedicated his entire life to help find solutions for those who were unsheltered. A peacemaker who was the true definition of kindness, in 1949 he took in two Jewish people during World War II hiding them from the Nazis. Later on, Pierre helped the homeless find shelter, his goal was to create hope for the less fortunate. He gave them a possibility of starting over and generating a better life for themselves. Pierre presented an aspiration to make the world a healthier place for people who are not  as lucky as others. Throughout his heroic journey, he displayed his determination to support the poor, his intelligence to push the charity off the ground, and his generosity toward advising the homeless.


Pierre demonstrated multiple acts of determination, when he consistently raised awareness for those who were deprived of basic necessities. Selflessly motivated Pierre, "The elderly priest refused to wear his Legion d'honneur until a crowd of 300 poor African families, sleeping rough on the esplanade de Vincennes in Paris, was given lodging "("Abbe Pierre"). Pierre set a goal for himself that he hoped to achieve. He was so determined to help the homeless that in order to get back to his religious beliefs, he would need to set up homes and inspire the lives of 300 African families. His courage for helping the poor was so active that he would rather discontinue his religious beliefs to help the poor. He could have easily done both but he'd rather devote all of his effort into guiding the homeless. Pierre dedicated a lot of his life toward the charity Emmaus. "Emmaus communities opened across France. Abbe Pierre became an international figure and travelled the world spreading the word about Emmaus, leading to new communities being set up on four continents. Abbe Pierre continued to campaign until his death, in January 2007 " ("Our History").  Pierre's Charity became world renowned through his encouraging voice, knocking on door to door for donations to help build homes. He was  motivated to aid the lives of  strangers even until his very own death. The devotion he took with him throughout his life inspires the homeless to live a stable and independent life. It helped build lives and give chances for those who needed some. Pierre drove himself to do better, and found ingenious ideas to create and enhance life for the homeless.  
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Pierre's intelligence kicked his charity off the ground. His brilliance lead to inspiring and improving lives for many others in which, "He felt the most effective charity was when others were helped to help themselves. If charity was just a condescending gift from the rich to the poor, he felt it would be of little benefit other than to appease the consciousness of the rich" ("Abbe Pierre"). Pierre considered, for those who lived in the streets of Paris to create a better life for themselves, that they would need to help themselves first. His intelligence assisted in creating a better future for those in need. All of the hard working production he put in was to benefit the poor. Unlike many others Pierre didn't just obligate the wealthy to get the job done. He believed that in order for someone to become better that they would have to want to help themselves. Pierre regarded that, "Despite all the evil that men and women suffer," he said once, "I believe that the Eternal is Love all the same, and we are loved all the same, and we are free all the same"("Our History"). He believed in equality, that the homeless should not be treated any differently than those who have a roof over their heads. He didn't give sympathy for the poor. Pierre instead treated them like any other crowd. His judgment drove the charity, having the poor know that they can accomplish great things by themselves is what helped them create hope for a better future. Pierre was the opposite of selfish; he did not hold back on what might happen to him, but instead pushed that aside and gave support to the ones that needed it. A man named George urgently needed a mentor, "Whatever else he might have given me money, home, somewhere to work - I'd have still tried to kill myself again. What I was missing, and what he offered, was something to live for -George"("Our History"). After a failed suicide attempt George was brought to Pierre for guidance, he was inspired by Pierre to live an improved life. He then became one of Pierre's first companions in helping build homes for the poor. Pierre helped not only find him a home but a reason to live. Although helping the poor did not help himself he still took the time to inspire others to be better and have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. After advising George into the right direction, he realized that he wanted to stay on the path of guiding the homeless so, "In 1951, Abbe Pierre resigned as an MP to devote himself to fighting homelessness and poverty. Until then, he had used his salary to pay Georges and the other 18 men who had joined them to set up the first ever Emmaus community"("Our History"). Abbe Pierre provided his time and money into supporting the homeless.  Donating his money did not benefit him, there was no reason for him to give his money away. Because of his generosity and unselfishness he gave the money to the people more worthy of it. After contributing his money to the poor Pierre was left with nothing, he ended up having to go from restaurant to restaurant for donations.

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I believe Pierre's generosity, determination and intelligence was the cure for those who were unsheltered. Pierre put all his effort into supporting the homeless. He demonstrated that anyone can change a person's life for the better, that we do not need money, but we need to be in the right mindset, have determination, and obtain generosity. Abbe Pierre's determination was capable of giving the poor hope in succeeding. He gave them a reason to live in life, and roofs over their heads. He spread his wisdom throughout the community, and inspired the nation and I to recognize that all the homeless need is comfort and someone to guide them. Pierre had the capacity to look beyond people's status of wealth or social class. His ability to look beyond and inspire those in need made him a hero.

Works Cited

Pettinger, Tejvan. "Biography Abbe Pierre -." Biography Online. Biography Online, 23 Jan. 2007. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.

Ideas against Poverty." Ideas against Poverty. Emmaus International, 17 Oct. 2009. Web. 01 Feb. 2016

"Our History." Our History. Emmaus, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.

Matt. "Abbe Pierre." The Gallery of Heroes. N.p., 29 Sept. 2009. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

Page created on 7/10/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/5/2018 10:19:02 PM

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