On 23 October the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of Blessed Brother Arnold Rèche, who was born into a poor family in Landroff, Lorraine (France), on 2 September 1838. On the same day he was baptised with the name Jules Nicolas Rèche.

He had to drop out of school in order to help his family, working in a construction company.

He met the Brothers of the Christian Schools while he was attending evening classes for workers. He then applied to join the Congregation, and soon became noted for his competence in Theology, Mathematics, Science and Agriculture.

He taught for 14 years in Reims, the birthplace of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Then, during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, he worked with other Brothers as a nurse to meet the medical and spiritual needs of the wounded. For this he was awarded with the bronze cross.

Acknowledged for the depth of his prayer life and his love for education and penitential practices, he was appointed Director of the Novitiate of Thillois. There he promoted the spiritual and professional development of the young men entrusted to him.

Brother Arnold was widely known for his docility to the Holy Spirit and his devotion to the Passion of Christ which “strengthens the hearts of men”. He died at the age of 52 in the odour of sanctity. Pope John Paul II beatified him on 1 November 1987.

Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of Blessed Brother Arnold, that we may know his will as we cultivate our spiritual life.

Blessed Brother Arnold, pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts… forever!