Abbe Pierre

by Grace from San Diego

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Abraham Lincoln once said, "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." This meaning, one should stay strong on their principles. One should have pure beliefs and work with all their power to keep those beliefs alive. Abbe Pierre is an example of someone who had high intentions and fought for a better future. Pierre was born August 5, 1912 in France. He was a respected French priest who was mainly known for his work he performed with charity. In 1942, Pierre hid his true identity and took a fake name in order to help Jews cross the border during World War II. His whole life revolved around helping the poor and homeless. One of Pierre's greatest achievements was the creation of the Emmaus Project. The Emmaus Project would assist those in a great deal of poverty. Pierre was awarded for his work and voted the third greatest french person of all time. He lived in a time period where much destruction was done to the society. He took initiative to rebuild his society. Abbe Pierre is displayed as an iconic hero because he devoted his life to nurture and help those in need, his humanitarian efforts inspired people, and his courageous actions made a positive impact on society.

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Abbe Pierre gave up an easy lifestyle for a life filled with hardships and made it his goal to create a blissful future. It was a tragic time in France; "In 1949, he started his Emmaus Society, an anti-poverty crusade he named after the biblical village where Jesus was said to have been sheltered after his resurrection"(Bernstein). Abbe Pierre was only 37 when he created this foundation. After World War II, many people in France didn't have anywhere to sleep. Pierre recognized this and set out a goal to fix the adversity. He raised awareness throughout the nation. He raised attention to the charities and how people can perform simple acts to help. Pierre is well known to the people of France and his intentions are set in stone. The Emmaus Project evolved and eventually led to 12,000 new structures being built for the homeless. Pierre was on a radio broadcast when he informed people; "'My friends, help me, A woman has just frozen to death at three this morning, on the pavement of the Boulevard Sebastopol, clutching the document by which she was expelled from her home the day before .'"(Pierre). Abbe Pierre took initiative and publicly informed everyone in Paris about the tragic incident that had happened. Pierre notified people of this in hopes to see people respond back wanting to help. He sought for others to help out. He got others involved in the fight to provide shelter for the poor. Pierre's hard work and dedication towards the poor helped to majorly decrease the amount of poverty in his nation.

Pierre had an immense affect on people. Pierre had discussed the topic of helping the homeless with the mayor; "The next day, the mayor, Mr Jacques Chirac, who is already in the presidential race, said he, too, thought it outrageous that Paris should be full of empty apartments and buildings, and he proposed using a postwar law to make them available to the homeless"(Riding). It is shown that people take into account the principles of Abbe Pierre and aspire to follow in his footsteps. In this case, the mayor, Mr Jacques Chirac, agrees with Pierre and wants to help the homeless. He thinks it is appalling that there are so many empty homes to live in, yet so many people living on the streets. Clearly, people find Pierre's words to be inspiring and his values to be worthy. Abbe Pierre affected the thoughts and morals of others, like the mayor, and people became deeply encouraged by him. Pierre spoke out to France and asked his fellow friends to help and donate; "Donations poured in, and his call for help brought the issue of homelessness to public attention"(Inskeep). Pierre hoped to help shelter the many people who slept on the streets at night. People became encouraged to help the poor and followed Pierre's footsteps. People saw Pierre's intentions and wanted to help by donating essentials. Pierre's attitude also held a key factor on his inspiration. Through a sad and tragic time, most people would be helpless, however, Pierre acted resilient. He promoted hope throughout all of France. Pierre's empowering words and actions had a great significance on people.

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Abbe Pierre's battle for a better place led him to execute many achievements. It was the 1940s; "During World War II, he was a highly decorated member of the resistance against the German occupation"(Bernstein). Abbe Pierre worked to help the Jews that were being tortured in concentration camps. Pierre took notice of the terrible conditions the Jew's faced and worked to save them. This shows Pierre was courageous and didn't ignore this problem like others would. This courage saved the lives of many Jew's. After World War 2 ended: " Abbe Pierre became a member of France's national assembly, but felt he was able to achieve very little. Therefore, he decided to leave and set up a charity"(Pettinger). In order to make a positive impact on society, one must first want to help. After wanting to help, one must then take action for what he or she believes in. But, the final step is realizing if the action one did is working. Abbe Pierre realized that he never made a significant influence as a member of France's national assembly. He then moved on to charity work. Pierre's approach to helping the poor reflected well on people. He was a strong believer in teamwork and compromise. His beliefs resulted positively.

Pierre was dedicated to help the poor, he sacrificed his own life for others, and his courage motivated others. Pierre was shown to accomplish a variety of things. All the charity work he worked for was highly effective. Also, the role he played in World War 2 helped to save the lives of many Jews. "It's not enough to attend church and pray every Sunday; you have to act"(Pierre). Anybody can identify a problem, but a true hero acts upon that problem. A hero fights with all their power in an attempt to solve the issue. Abbe Pierre did more than se a problem, he worked to fix the problem. When World War 2 had just ended, and the people were in a corrupt state, Pierre fought to rebuild Paris to what it once was. I think Abbe Pierre is a legendary hero for putting all his efforts to shelter people, and to feed the poor. Pierre had many morals, and envisioned a better place for people to live in. In conclusion, Abbe Pierre is a hero because he acted and helped to change Paris in a positive result. He had stayed resilient and purely believed with teamwork, a lot could be achieved.

Works Cited

"Abbe Pierre fans the flames in Paris squatters squabble." Age [Melbourne, Australia] 27 Dec. 1994: 12.Student Resources in Context. Web. 2 Feb. 2016.

Bernstein, Adam. "Abbe Pierre; France's Hero-priest, 'prophet of the Poor' | The San Diego Union-Tribune." Abbe Pierre; France's Hero-priest, 'prophet of the Poor' | The San Diego Union-Tribune. The Washington Post, 8 Jan. 2007. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.

"French Prepare to Pay Homage to Abbe Pierre." Morning Edition 25 Jan. 2007. Student Resources in Context. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

Pettinger, Tejvan. "Biography Abbe Pierre -." Biography Online. Oxford, 23 Jan. 2007. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.


Page created on 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/11/2018 2:43:47 PM

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