Abbé Pierre, a French legend
PARIS — Abbé Pierre, a French priest praised as a living legend for devoting his life to helping the homeless and using prayer and provocation to tackle misery, died Monday, his foundation said. He was 94.
One of France's most beloved public figures, Abbé Pierre died at Val de Grace military hospital in Paris, where he had been admitted with a lung infection Jan. 14, his foundation said.
The founder of the international Emmaus movement for the poor, Abbé Pierre had served as a spokesman for France's conscience since the 1950s when he persuaded parliament to pass a law — still on the books — forbidding landlords to evict tenants during winter.
"We have lost a great figure, a conscience, an incarnation of goodness," President Jacques Chirac said.