Cardinal Lavigerie and the African Slave Trade by Richard Frederick Clarke

By Richard Frederick Clarke

In 1889 the Jesuit Richard F. Clarke released this biography of Charles Lavigerie (1825-1892), the French cardinal and Primate of Africa. From the instant of his arrival in Algeria in 1868, Lavigerie grew to become a key, if occasionally arguable, determine in setting up Catholic missions in Africa. In 1874 he based the Society of Missionaries for Africa, another way referred to as the White Fathers after the white Arab costume they wore. Lavigerie's later profession was once dedicated to the conflict opposed to slavery and in 1888 he carried out a crusade in different ecu capitals denouncing the perform. Clarke's publication, which seemed a yr after Lavigerie's stopover at to London, presents an account of the cardinal's profession in France and Africa as much as that date. It emphasises and praises Lavigerie's anti-slavery message, pertaining to him within the preface as 'the apostle of the slaves of all Africa'.

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A brief account is then given of the barbarian invasions, their lamentable consequences, and the savage persecutions they initiated. The Archbishop further tells us how, when the Christians of Africa had enjoyed upwards of a century of repose under the sway of the emperors, the fierce disciples of the Prophet swooped down upon them, conquering their lands and driving them from their homes into the, rocky fastnesses of the desert, where they gradually lost their faith, though in some parts traces of it have ever remained.

One of these had for its object to teach and care for the children of the poor in country districts, and to nurse the sick. Another had been specially established in view of opening workrooms for young girls. Several of these communities were called upon at a later period to form a house in Algeria, and devote themselves to missionary work, under the direction of Mgr. Lavigerie. While the ties which united the Bishop of Nancy to his flock grew and strengthened month by month and year by year, the hour was rapidly approaching when those ties were to be severed in a sudden and unexpected manner.

Mgr. Lavigerie was not slow in fulfilling the promises he had made in his hour of need; in less than a month after landing he sent out a pastoral letter, wherein the faithful were urged to visit the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea in thanksgiving, numerous spiritual privileges being attached to the pilgrimage. Some years later he also caused an obelisk bearing a suitable inscription to be erected on the edge of a cliff, which can be seen far out at sea. To return to the affairs of the archdiocese.

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