SAINTS IN HELL by Gilbert Cesbron


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From the French, in an able translation by John Russell, this is a story of dedicated and indestructible faith in its day to day demonstration and application by Pierre, a worker-priest. His first awareness of human agony during a vigil at the mine where his father worked directs him toward the selfless course he is to follow, and it is in Sagny, in a slum section of absolute destitution and dereliction, that he carries on his work. Father Bernard, before him, weakens under the stress of suffering and gives up the Mission- but Pierre, whose spirit- and flesh-never fail him, finds a further impetus to his faith in the lives of Luis, Henri, Jacquot and Paulette, Jean, Etienne, and others. And through a strike and the starvation which finally breaks it, Luis' death- (he is killed by the police), Etienne's critical concussion after his father has beaten him up, Jean's suicide, and the death of his Cardinal- Pierre goes on without faltering- until reproved by his Archbishop- he is sent away from Sagny. The fullest sacrifice is reached with his decision to return to the horror of the mine of his childhood- to carry on there... An impassioned, and often powerful proof of a Christianity which is practised- as it is preached- this is a conscientious report for the sincere follower.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1954
Publisher: Doubleday