The Certainty of Being Loved traces the spiritual journey of Pierre Claverie op, born in 1938 in Algiers, the fourth generation of a family of European settlers. Growing up, he lived ‘in a colonial bubble’ (his own words). His realization, upon joining the Dominicans in France, that he had been blind to the plight and suffering of the Algerian people came as a spiritual awakening.
This conversion experience enabled him to cross the boundaries of difference and deepened his Christian commitment. It would eventually lead him to offer his life as a ransom for peace and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims. On 1 August 1996, he was assassinated along with his Muslim friend and driver, Mohamed Bouchikhi. Pierre foresaw this fate when he wrote, in response to threats from the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), ‘I have worked tirelessly for dialogue and friendship among peoples, cultures and religions. All of that has probably merited for me death and I am willing to run the risk.’
Along with 18 other martyrs of Algeria, Pierre Claverie was beatified on 8 December 2018.
The Algerian martyr Blessed Pierre Claverie is one of the great witnesses of our time, deserving of a place next to Oscar Romero or Dietrich Bonhoeffer, yet is little known so far in the wider Church. The Certainty of Being Loved will put that right. Martin McGee has written a superb guide to Claverie’s life, vocation and thought, showing us what it means to witness to Christ from a place of powerlessness, surrounded by enemies, and to pay the ultimate price for the sake of dialogue. You will not read a more moving or illuminating account of contemporary martyrdom. - Austin Ivereigh (author of The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope and of Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church.)
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