Posts Tagged ‘Ecumenism’

Brother Roger, 12 May 1915 - 16 August 2005

Five years ago today Brother Roger, the founder and prior of the Taizé Community, France, tragically died.     

Described by Pope Benedict XVI as a tireless witness to peace and reconciliation, Br Roger was devoted to reconciling the Christian churches. In the early days of the community, Br Roger hid Jews from the Nazis during World War II. From the 1950s, Taizé grew both in terms of brothers joining the community and visitors it received, particularly young adultswho would typically stay for a week to share in the community’s simple life and prayer. Today, thousands of young adults from across the world visit Taizé each week. 

Brother Roger wrote many books, including some together with Mother Teresa. He also had an audience with Pope John Paul II each year and, despite being Protestant, received Holy Communion from him. In 1988 Br Roger was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.

At his funeral his successor, Br Alois, prayed for forgiveness for the woman who had taken Br Roger’s life; With Christ on the cross we say to you, Father, forgive her, she does not know what she did. Br Roger’s favourite chat was sung during the ceremony, Mon âme se repose en paix sur Dieu seul (In God alone, my soul rests in peace). Listen to it below.

 To commemorate his life and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Taizé community, excerpts of previously unseen video footage of Brother Roger are being released.

 Thank you, Brother Roger, for all you have given us. May you Rest In Peace.