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Le pélerin de Jérusalem

Le pélerin de Jérusalem
EAN : 
9782709621465
Parution : 
08/11/2000
297 pages
18.30 €

Onglets langues

Qu'est-ce qui peut motiver un homme d'affaires de soixante ans à accomplir un pèlerinage de Lourdes à Jérusalem, dans un dénuement complet ?
Pendant huit mois, Jean Lescuyer apprendra à mendier un morceau de pain, fouiller les poubelles et disputer un os aux chiens. En France, en Italie, il partagera la vie des marginaux et des drogués, en Grèce de clandestins albanais... Des mondes parfois violents composés de pauvres et d'exclus mais qui, souvent, l'accueilleront plus fraternellement que certains hommes d'Eglise de quelque obédience soient-ils !
Au rythme de trente-cinq kilomètres par jour, il traversera ainsi la Turquie, la Syrie, le Liban, les Territoires palestiniens, pour arriver enfin au coeur de la Ville sainte, au Saint-Sépulcre, le 15 juillet 1999.
Rien ne sera épargné à ce pèlerin-vagabond. Ni les épreuves, ni les moments de grâce, ni les rencontres remarquables : le pape à Rome, les moines sur le mont Athos, le poète Saïd Akl dans le Levant...
Pour Jean Lescuyer l'errance se fait quête, la route devient expérience transfigurante, et le voyage, pas après pas, ouvre à la plénitude spirituelle.

Jean Lescuyer habite près d'Albi. Il a fondé plusieurs entreprises. Mehdi Benchelah est journaliste indépendant pour Le Figaro, Le Point, RFI dans la bande de Gaza.

« Someone told me before I left that it was a crazy idea. I thought about it and in fact, its exactly the opposite. No unbalanced person could ever withstand this trip. To keep going, you have to manage carefully your progress, know yourself well and forget your needs, because if you don't, you cant move ahead.

Jean is a successful sixty-year-old French businessman who decided to undertake a penniless pilgrimage from Lourdes to Jerusalem by foot. During his ten-thousand kilometer excursion, lasting two-hundred and forty days, he endured every imaginable hardship, be it physical aggression, hunger, fear or fatigue. He had to learn how to beg for a piece of bread, excavate garbage cans for a little food and sometimes fight with a dog over a bone. Along the way, his apparent poverty brought him in touch with the poor and destitute. In France and Italy he encountered drug addicts and other outcasts of society, and in Greece, clandestine Albanian immigrants. In the south of France, two petty thieves not only robbed him of what little possessions he had, but beat him up and left him on the side of the road with a severely bruised arm and a twisted ankle. Depression set in when he realised the loss of his possessions and the extent of his injuries. But he continued limping on his way.
In Rome, Jean met with Pope John-Paul II who questioned him at length about his pilgrimage and then invited him to a private mass in the Vatican to give him his blessing. At Mount Athos he met a group of reclusive Orthodox monks before reaching the edge of Europe at Istanbul. He visited Patmos, where Saint John spent the end of his life dictating the Apocalypse, then Rhodes and the fortifications of the ancients, and finally arrived in the sleeping city of seventy thousand souls, Antioch.
Walking an average of thirty-five kilometers a day, Jean penetrated deep into Syria, where he was warned of the dangers but instead found warm hospitality. In Lebanon, his exciting encounter with the greatly admired, eighty-five-year-old Christian poet Said Aki is one of his fondest memories. He presses on to Jordan, the Palistinian territories and finally Jerusalem, which he enters on July 15, 1999, exactly 900 years after the Holy City was conquered by the Crusaders.