Marist Students Honor Beatified Marist Brother
Marist High School students attended prayer services on Dec. 7 in anticipation of the beatification of Br. Henri Vergès, a French Marist Brother, held on Dec.r 8 in Rome.
The ceremony will declare him “blessed,” the final step before sainthood.
Vergès was born in France in 1930, and worked in Algeria from 1969 until his death in 1994, first as a teacher, and then as a librarian. In addition to his ministry to young people, he was a very active member of Ribât al-Salaam, an Algerian organization that promotes dialogue and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims. Vergès ran a library in Algiers from 1988 to 1994, along with Sr. Paul Hélène, a French nun of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
In 1991, the Algerian Civil War broke out, in which roughly fifty thousand people were killed over the course of ten years. During this time, everyday Br. Henri’s library was filled with children and young people, for whom the library was a safe place and a refuge from the chaos in the country.
Despite the violence, Br. Henri and Sr. Paul Hélène chose to stay in Algiers to continue their ministry. On May 8, 1994 they were both gunned down in the library by the GIA, a militant Islamist group. On December 8, Br. Henri and Sr. Paul Hélène will be beatified, along with seventeen other Catholic religious martyred in the Algerian Civil War.
Celebrating 55 years of excellence, Marist High School is a Catholic, coed high school, making Jesus Christ known and loved in the Marist Brothers' tradition, while preparing students for higher education and life.