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Obituary of Emmanuel Mounier (1905-1950)

It was a great shock to us to hear of the death, by heart attack, in Paris of Emmanuel Mounier, at forty five. Mounier was the guiding spirit in the French personalist movement, and founder and director of Esprit, the magazine which is the organ of the movement. Mounier, who was the child of peasants, was a brilliant scholar at the Sorbonne. In l929, when he was only twenty-four, he came under the influence of the French writer, Chas. Peguy, to whom he ascribed the inspiration of the personalist movement.

Peter Maurin used to say wherever he went, “There is a man in France called Emmanuel Mounier. He wrote a book called The Personalist Manifesto. You should read that book.”

Mounier himself was a pilgrim of the Absolute, and now he has gone to that God who is a person, three Persons in one God. He went to meet him with good works. May he enter through Him into eternal joy.

Reprinted in the Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XV, No. 2, March 1995, from The Catholic Worker, April, l950