This last day before the opening celebration, we went to the Institute of the Belles Lettres Arabes created and managed by the White Fathers since 1923.
The Institute was a response to Cardinal Lavigerie’s call to learn the culture and the history of the country to which we have been sent. The institute consists of three sections: library, research center and the magazine.
In the afternoon, we participated in a conference, a sharing of testimonies on the life of the four White Fathers, martyrs who have just been beatified in Algeria. Sister Chantal Vankalck MSOLA, lived with them and affirmed that they were saints on a daily basis and that their testimony of life became a seed of life for everyone. Brother Jan Heuft Missionary of Africa, emphasized that what was important in the lives of those beatified was their simplicity and proximity to the Algerian people. Father Vincent Kyererezi, who currently lives in Tizi Ouzou where the four fathers were killed, said that their death is already bearing fruit, seeing the gratitude and the large number of people who come to the fathers today for help. Archbishop Paul Desfrages of Algiers, shared with us the joy that reigned during the beatification ceremony of the martyrs of Algeria. He spoke of the understanding with which the Algerian government has welcomed any event. Speakers agreed that it is important to remember the faithfulness of all those who gave their lives for others, not just those who had been beatified.
The day ended with a solemn Mass during which the jubilee candle was lit. A commemorative plaque of 150 years of existence was given to the parish priest of Saint Cyprien Church, which is the former residence of Cardinal Lavigerie and his chapel.