Loading
French teens aim to learn extreme poverty during Rome trip
(L-R) Arthur Thomé, Marie de La Mardière, and Marie Lecointe in Rome on Aug. 20, 2013. Credit: Estefania Aguirre/CNA.
(L-R) Arthur Thomé, Marie de La Mardière, and Marie Lecointe in Rome on Aug. 20, 2013. Credit: Estefania Aguirre/CNA.
By Estefania Aguirre
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A group of French teenagers arrived in Rome this month without money or possessions in the hopes of learning how to let go of material things and grow closer to God.

“We've come here without money,” said 17-year-old Marie Lecointe. “It’s taught us to detach ourselves from things like beds, showers...”

Lecointe came to Rome on Aug. 19 alongside nine other youths aged 15 to 20. They left Paris on Aug. 3 with barely enough funds to reach Rome.

“We don’t know where we will sleep tonight but we will search around town,” Lecointe told CNA on Aug. 20.

The young woman said that the group, which belongs to France's Chapitre Saint Lazare or Saint Lazarus Chapter, prays a lot – which she says “has definitely helped them.”

The teens, who are now going from door to door asking for food or money, traveled on foot and sometimes, by bus. 

“We have to ask people for...whatever they can give us,” added 20-year-old Arthur Thomé.

The ten young people spent their first night in Rome in a building run by the Community of Saint Peter, but they now need to find other places to sleep at during the following nights.

Otherwise, said Thomé who is the oldest and responsible for the group, they will have to sleep on the streets.

He told CNA that although they go out in twos and threes during the day asking for food, he wants them to sleep in the same place each night for security reasons.

Lecointe noted that they are trying to learn a few phrases in Italian, since most people they have spoken to did not speak French or even English.

“But it’s quite difficult because we don’t have any time now or any books to learn from,” she said. “We can understand some words because it comes from Latin, like French.”

Thomé said that the aim is to gather enough money during the day to buy the cheapest food that can feed the ten. “People are giving us money or food so now I’m not afraid but yesterday I was because we had no money and very little food.”

The group cooks their meals on the street in a pot and portable gas cooker they brought with them.

“One day we were cooking pasta and an Italian man came and said 'that’s horrible! How can you eat that?'” Lecointe recalled, laughing.

“He then cooked it for us because it was really catastrophic,” she remarked. “It was about ten days ago at the beach and he also made the sauce for us.”

“It was very delicious, better than our own food,” Lecointe smiled.

Tags: Vatican, Catholic Youth, Spiritual Poverty

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
Sep
17

Liturgical Calendar

September 17, 2014

Wednesday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 7:31-35

Gospel
Date
09/17/14
09/16/14
09/15/14

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/17/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 7:31-35

Homily
Date
09/17/14
09/16/14
09/15/14