Olivier Maire: The tributes paid to the priest “who died a victim of his generosity, a martyr of charity”

“The death of Father Olivier Maire highlights his life: a given life, generous, very open to the sufferings of others.”

The tributes paid to Father Olivier Maire, a priest found dead in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, all testify to his kindness and charity. Emmanuel Abayisenga, a Rwandan refugee who presented himself to the gendarmerie to confess his act, was hosted by the community of Montfortian fathers of which Olivier Maire was the provincial superior.

Father Hugues de Woillemont affirms it, “the death of Father Olivier Maire sheds light on his life: a given life, generous, very open to the sufferings of others”.

For him, welcoming this man despite his link with the fire at Nantes cathedral in July 2020 was “the meaning of his life”.

“To live the gospel, to follow Christ. This sign of a man welcoming a brother in distress touches a lot, in France and beyond. The Church has a long tradition of hospitality. Father Olivier Maire had been open to the sufferings of others for a long time. "

For Emmanuel Macron, Olivier Maire “carried the generosity and love of the other even in the features of his face”.

Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French Bishops' Conference, affirms that the priest "will have lived in following Christ to the end, in the unconditional welcome of all".

To Bishop François Jacolin, Bishop of Luçon, “Father Olivier Maire died a victim of his generosity, a martyr of charity”.

Sister Margron, president of the Conference of Religious of France, specifies that “the fact that this man had to be expelled, whereas he was not expellable since under judicial control […] was really not the problem of the brothers who welcomed him ”. She adds that "the virtue of hospitality is the greatest and the first of the biblical virtues".

La Conference of Bishops of France and the Conference of Religious of France recalled that "the Fathers and Brothers of the Company of Mary (called Missionaries Montfortains) are present on the 5 continents", adding that they are pursuing "the project of their founder, to evangelize in proximity and attention to all ”.


Image: Father Olivier Maire. (© G. Moreau / Diocese of Luçon)

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