From commandos to the community

A few years ago, Brother Godefroy, passing not far from the abbey of Acey, had sworn never to live there. The elegant XVII facadee was in his eyes far too rich for a Cistercian vocation. Once through the door, the impression is quite different. Behind the appearance is the spiritual warfare of a community. Today, the sober and raw beauty of the abbey church, in the bare light of contemporary stained glass, has erased any fear of gentrification. He, who had no other desire than to live in Tibhirine, lets God write the curved lines of a monastic life made up of the unexpected. The monk of Aiguebelle, in the Drôme, became chaplain of the Trappistines in Syria, is now, at the age of 50, abbot in Franche-Comté. The slender silhouette, involving the folds of the coat in a determined approach, the former naval commando retains a certain rigor in the pace. Coming from elsewhere, Brother Godefroy Raguenet de Saint Albin considers himself more as a servant than as a superior. Short beard and mischievous eye, the 64e Abbé d’Acey still wonders about the media’s interest in monastic life. If this is not for him the opportunity to insist on the requirement and the urgency of community and fraternal life. “The brothers will serve each other”, enacts the Rule of Saint Benedict. Starting with the abbot, at the service of his brothers.


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