Rèche, Jules-Nicolas, Bl.
RÈCHE, JULES-NICOLAS, BL.
Known in religion as Brother Arnould (Arnold), religious of the Brothers of Christian Schools; b. Sept. 2, 1838, Landroff, Lorraine, France; d. Oct. 23, 1890, Rheims, France. Nicolas was the eldest of the eight surviving children of a cobbler, Claude Rèche, and his wife, Anne Clausset. He attended the village school for a few years until he was able to work in his father's shop and run errands to help support his family. When he was old enough to leave home, he worked as a coachman for a wealthy family in Raville–Fouligny, then as a teamster for the construction of Notre Dame Church at Charleville, where he became acquainted with the Brothers of the Christian Schools while attending evening classes. He entered the novitiate on Dec. 23, 1862, receiving the name Brother Arnould, and was solemnly professed in 1871. He taught at the boarding school in Rheims for 14 years, while continuing his own studies in theology, mathematics, science, and agriculture. Brother Arnould was awarded the Bronze Cross for the care he gave the sick and wounded of both sides during the Franco–Prussian War (1870). He was appointed novice master (1877) at Thillois, France, because of his exemplary conduct. He continued in this role when the novitiate was moved (1885) to Courlancy near Rheims. Arnould died soon after his appointment as director general of the formation center. His grave in the cemetery at Rheims became a pilgrimage site. Pope John Paul II beatified Brother Arnould on Nov. 1, 1987.
Feast: Oct. 23 (La Sallian Brothers).
Bibliography: c. lapierre, Si le grain de blé: frère Arnould (Paris 1986). L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 47 (1987): 7–8.
[k. i. rabenstein]