Pierre Goursat (1914-1991) was a humble layman who was both a contemplative and a man of action. He founded the Emmanuel Community.
After his conversion at the age of 19, he was on fire with love for Christ and a compassion for the poor, together with a zeal for evangelisation. He had a passion for culture and worked in the field of cinema.
In 1972, when he was 58, he experienced an outpouring of the Spirit and founded the Emmanuel Community. Fired by a great love for people, he started numerous apostolic works. In the spirit of Vatican II, he helped to train a new generation of lay people and priests in the service of the Church. He was a pioneer of the ‘new evangelisation’.
Pierre withdrew in 1985 from the government of the Community, and spent the rest of his days in a life of silence and Adoration. He died on 25th March 1991. Cardinal Lustiger presided at his funeral and paid homage to him by recognizing “the manner in which the Lord had opened the way for him and how he had been able to respond”. Since that time Pierre continues to help others, even those outside Emmanuel, to turn towards God and live as Christ’s apostles in the world. With the agreement of Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris, the cause for the canonisation of Pierre Goursat was officially introduced in January 2010.
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