Père Jacques quotes


“One enters carmel, above all else, to find God and to have the personal and living contact that is achieved by the most intense prayer.”


“As real as we are here, Christ is here among us, as he was on the cross, and you can look upon him.” (Words of Père Jacques to M. Augé, fellow prisoner in Mauthausen camp, April or May 1944)


“For an education to be fruitful, a good number of conditions are required that can be summed as: know what you want, know what you can do, and be able to create a suitable atmosphere.” (En famille [in the family], No. 1, January 1935)


“An educator should be a saint – not a glum saint, but rather a saint bubbling over with youthful joy”


“The immense source of happiness, the only fountain that is able to extinguish the fire of our desires, the only creature that is large enough to fill our hearts is God. (. . .) It is enough to think of him, of his constant presence at our side.” (Homily of 27 May 1928)


When asked why he had disobeyed the laws against sheltering Jews, “I know of only one law, that of the gospels and of love.”


“The true life, the life that is worth living and that leaves a profound joy is a life in which one surrenders, in which one protects a pure, powerful soul in constant friendship with God.” (Letter to former students in the Bulletin En Famille [The Family] from 15 December 1939)


“A little a pure love is more precious to God and the soul and more beneficial to the church, even though it seems one is doing nothing, than all these other works put together.”


“Mary was a woman of contemplative prayer, and in the stillness of this silent, internal prayer, Mary heard the voice of the Angel. She would not have heard had she not been in the silence.” (Retreat for the Third Order of Carmel of Chaville on 20 September 1936)


“Above all come to Jesus not to read in front of him ready-made prayers found in books. Approach him much more tenderly and throw yourself in front of him on your knees on the floor and from there gaze at him with a long, loving look from deep in your soul. He wants your heart and not formulas.” (Sermon on 5 March 1927 in the Church of Sainte-Marie in Le Havre)


“Be a saint, that is, be a person in the full sense of the word, and be a person who preserves a sense of honor, the joy of living with a clear conscience, and the will to never cheat one’s duty. ” (En Famille quand même [But in the family], 1942)


“We cannot hear the voice of God, who speaks without words, except in silence.”

St. John of the Cross

” All that St. John of the Cross teaches is so very very true! You can come into living contact with the good God, touch the good God.” (Letter to Madame de Larminat of 21 September 1939)