Feature

‘National conscience’ dies

The week's news at a glance.

Paris

Abbé Pierre, a Catholic priest often likened to Mother Teresa, died this week at age 94. A tireless advocate for the homeless, Abbé Pierre was known as “the ragpickers’ saint.” Born Henri Antoine Groues, the rich son of a silk merchant, he gave his inheritance to the poor upon entering the seminary and took the nom de guerre Abbé Pierre during World War II, when he worked with the French Resistance. In the 1950s, he persuaded the French legislature to ban evictions during the winter, long before other European countries had such protections for tenants. Abbé Pierre has long led the polls as France’s most beloved figure, ahead of soccer star Zinedine Zidane and singing legend Johnny Hallyday.

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