Xavier Patier receives the Catholic Grand Prize for Literature



Writer and senior civil servant, Xavier Patier has published twenty books and received almost as many awards: novels, theater, essays including one on Blaise Pascal, The night of ecstasy (Cerf, 2014). This Tuesday, May 11, it is the 2021 Catholic Grand Prize for Literature awarded to him by the Association of French-speaking Catholic Writers, for his book France tomorrow, published by editions du Cerf in 2020.

Born in 1958 in Brive-la-Gaillarde (Corrèze), married and father of six children, he was twelve years old when the three men to whom he devotes this book died successively, François Mauriac, on the 1ster September 1970, his own grandfather Edmond Michelet on October 9, and General De Gaulle on November 9.

→ READ. Mauriac, hope does not die

Three figures who “Had in common, he writes, their most intimate secret: the certainty that there is a singular vocation of France which engages Providence ”. Three men whose death signs, in his eyes, the end of a France that knew who she was, and the erasure of the theological virtues that structured it, De Gaulle-l’Esperance, Mauriac-la Foie, Michelet-la Charité . “Their three virtues were three fights, he continues. The simultaneous erasure of their voices in the fall of 1970 heralded the entry into a new era for the country. Michelet had said of Mauriac, who had just died, a few days before dying himself, that he was “the spokesperson for an endangered world”. What was this endangered world? Is he gone for good? What lesson can we learn from this for today? “ “It is to these questions that this book endeavors to answer which deserves, as such, the Catholic Grand Prize for Literature”, notes the Association of French-speaking Catholic Writers.

Double vocation

From 2000 to 2003, Xavier Patier was commissioner for the development of the national domain of Chambord. From 2003 to 2008, he was vice-president of the Fabre laboratory in Toulouse. Among other things, he directed the Privat editions then the Rocher editions before taking the direction of Journals official. Since 2017, he has been Director General of Services for the Department of Loir-et-Cher.

In 2017, the man with the dual vocation published Blessed are the servants (Cerf), a novel in which he questioned the springs of the drifts that have occurred in new communities. The author himself was no stranger to this story. The former ENA was about twenty years old at the genesis of the Charismatic Renewal and was a “Occasional consumer” new communities, in contact with which his faith took root.

Founded in 1946, the Catholic Literature Grand Prize annually awards a French-speaking writer. Daniel-Rops gave it its name. Among the winners were Raïssa Maritain, Henri de Lubac, André Frossard, Xavier Emmanuelli and Fabrice Hadjadj. “It is not a specifically religious award. The winning work must above all state literary qualities and universal values ​​compatible with the Catholic faith ”, according to the association which itself saw the light of day in 1886, under the leadership of Albert de Mun and Maurice Maignen.

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