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The Jesus Caritas Stole

The stole is intended to recall the sweet yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:30) and signifies the cross which was placed upon the shoulders of Christ. It is a powerful reminder to put on a new self created in Christ¹s image (Ephesians 4:24). In Ecclesiasticus 15:5 ( Douay-Rheims translation) it reads: In the midst of the church, wisdom shall open his mouth... and shall clothe him with a robe of glory.

The stole developed out of the orarium which was an ornamental article of dress in ancient times. It consisted of a strip of cloth wound around both shoulders, and is frequently seen in the frescoes of the catacombs. In Rome it was the custom to lay the stole on the tomb of St. Peter for one night and then confer it as a mark of distinction on those who were ordained. Since it was especially used in preaching it was regarded as the distinctive sign of the authority to preach.

As an ornamental vestment worn around the neck, the stole is intended to remind the wearer of the virtues of prudence and temperance which should be the special adornments of the priesthood. As a mark of distinction, it symbolizes the garment of innocence, that is sanctifying grace, which adorned our first parents in Paradise, and is absolutely necessary for everyone to come into eternal bliss.

The fraternity stole has stitched on it in the form of Charles deFoucauld¹s handwriting, the words Jesus Caritas. The muted tones of the desert comprise the color coordinates of the stole and recalls both the locale in which Brother Charles lived out his unique apostolate, and the Day in the Desert that is a key part of the Jesus Caritas spirituality. Into the rolling hills of the desert the sun is sinking as a sign of sacrifice, but from the sun is arising the Eucharistic bread, such a prominent part of the spiritual life of the fraternity member who spends an hour a day before His Lord in the tabernacle.

Brother Charles Marble Statue

This white marble statue of Brother Charles de Foucauld stands one meter high. It was commissioned by a local firm to be carved in China, and can be obtained for for a surprising $450! Contact Peterson PreCast, 37021 State Road 14,North Bonneville, WA 98648. It is also available in black marble.

The heart, symbol of love, with the cross, the supreme symbol of Christ in his saving sacrifice, graces the lower panels of the stole. This is the symbol that Brother Charles had stitched on his own crumpled Touareg robe. On the underside of the yoke is written the words of the Prayer of Abandonment, I abandon myself Into your hands.

The fraternity stole was designed and crafted by Fran Hewitt, 92 Laurel Lane S., Washougal, WA 98671, (360) 837-3422. $98.00 e-mail: