WHY? No one knows.

Why did Abbe Foure spend nearly 10 hours a day, every day, for 25 years, carving more than 300 figures out of a huge section of rock on the windy Brittany coast of France?

The statues and carvings were inspired by old tales of the Rotheneuf family, a 16th century tribe of fishermen, smugglers, pirates and outlaws.  Why did he spend the last third of his life chiselling craggy creations ‘rochers sculptés’ in the rocks, many with grotesque and bizarre faces, along with a few monsters?


We do know Abbe Foure (1839-1910) suffered a stroke when he 30 and it left him paralysed on one side and almost without speech and hearing. He retreated to life as a hermit, living in the cliffs of Rotheneuf but no one knows why he undertook this task.

Many of the sculptures have been eroded, but photos of them are sold at the entrance to the site which is now a popular tourist site catering to thousands of visitors who flock to see the scores of remaining sculptures and carvings.

There are human lives to be formed and fashioned as stones

in God’s living temple, the Church – the body of Christ.

That task is mine . . . and yours if you are a child of God.

That task demands my time and energy.

That task cannot be looked upon as a hobby
or as something to be done ‘when I feel like it’
or ‘when I have some spare time’

That task is paramount for the days are short.

We are commanded to “GO”

2 Timothy 4:2 (Amplified)
Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency,
be at hand and ready,
whether the opportunity seems to be favourable or unfavourable,
whether it is convenient or inconvenient,
you as a preacher of the Word
are to show people in what ways their lives are wrong;
convincing, rebuking and correcting;
warning and urging and encouraging them;
being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.


Abbe Foure left more than 300 sculptures, carved in stone.

How many “stones” in God’s living temple will I leave?

The task is mine. It is a commission given to ALL of God’s children.


#  Privilege and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. [anon]

The great commission is not an option to be considered but a command to be obeyed. [Hudson Taylor]


About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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19 Responses to WHY? No one knows.

  1. Françoise Genty says:

    Oh Dear God, WHY? should I read such a sad report on such ab example man.
    Nowadays in UK people have learnt with the Olympics how to respect the handicaps, perhaps it is time to ‘Christians’ to do it too.
    Sorry, but your report is totally wrong and here are the proofs.
    Before to accuse anyone, the best is to learn about them.
    1st, what is the need to know why?…
    The Abbé Fouré was alone,had difficulties communicating with others due to a stroke which left him hard hearing, with difficulties of speech and some handicap in one side of his body.
    He suffered a stroke at 55 and till then was an acting parish priest who even tried hard to help his parishioners to keep their job when the forges wee closed.
    He did nothing wrong in trying to do something with his hands.
    Perhaps yourself are doing gardening or other activities, so why not him?
    He didn’t has you claim work 25 years on his sculptures as he arrived at Rothéneuf in 1894 and died in 1910. In fact, he worked at them only 13 to 14 years, as at the end of his life, he carved wood in his hermitage.
    Why do you need to know why?
    As a Christian you are challenged?
    I am a Christian and I am not.
    I do respect the hard work he did.
    I also respect the fact he was a Christian, devoted to the poor and had a collection box for donations which were for them.
    He never asked payment but SADLY, nowadays his masterpiece has fallen in the hands of greedy private persons who ask for a entry fee: other times, other way of lives…
    SO why do you blame him?
    He was not asking for money, what he collected he gave it to the poor.
    Please, do inform yourself before to make such an accusation.
    And you, are you doing something for the poor???
    I wonder.
    The Abbé Fouré was a kind, gentle, caring person, who carried as long as he could saying mass, yes, even when sculpting the rocks, we have proofs.
    He cared for children and people in general.
    His work brought many visitors in the area as he is one of the master of Outsiders work.
    This village was really poor and his work brought work and tourists to the place.

    I think you have the answer to your WHY? He did it for the Poor.

    The Abbé Fouré was a great man, a Christian whose work has illuminated Rothéneuf and which still, more than 100 years after his death, is still admired and respected by many.Sorry to react so badly to your report but it is not a Christian one.


    • Thank you for your reply and for more information about Abbe Foure. My information was gathered from encyclopaedias and all I read agreed on the data presented here.

      I apologise for any misconception. Maybe a language difference can be blamed, but I did NOT at any point try to discredit the person or his work and certainly did not accuse him. I blamed him for nothing and made no accusation that he did it asking for money. After re-reading my words, I can find NO words which discredit him in any way.

      In fact, the opposite is true. I was praising his dedication to his task and using it as an example for us to follow.

      I used the information from leaflets distributed at the site which reportedly state that no one knows WHY he spent so much time at his work, as a challenge to myself and all Christians, to be more dedicated in our Christian service.

      We know WHY we serve the living Christ and this should reflect in dedicated service to Him.

      Once again I apologise if my words offended, but I again assure you there was no intention to criticise, discredit or accuse. I praised his dedication and said we should follow his example, because we have a great reason to do so.


  2. Freedomborn says:

    Thank you Angela a great message and yes we are to share God’s Truth and sometimes that will mean, we will need to correct error or even rebuke but it must be done in Love and for Love and not according to our agenda but Gods guidelines, as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit..

    I was not aware Angela that the Amplified Bible was Public Domain, if it is, that’s great because I only thought the King James was and that the rest had copyright laws so you had to pay to use them, but I haven’t checked for a while now it may have changed.

    As I was reading one of your reply’s to this message Angela it reminded me of a Power point on the Senior Generation, I will post it for us tomorrow afternoon as I’m well passed middle age too, but then your as old as you feel… well today for me that is about 108 give or take a few days.

    Christian Love Anne.


    • I don’t copy and paste Scripture Anne, and as far as I know there is no copyright involved when just quoting a verse. I’ve seen verses quoted in a variety of versions, not only in blogs and comments here, but in numerous publications, Churches notices etc. I know that in commercially produced publications, recognition is given, but – again as far as I”m aware – there is nothing against quoting a verse here or in non-commercial printing. If there is, I’d like to know.


      • Freedomborn says:

        Hi again Angela, I was hoping you would know, but when I have a chance I will look it up again, it’s been a long time since I have and it may have changed, I will cut and paste it for you if I can or at least what it says, it may be too long in detail, they always have so much red tape.

        Christian Love Anne.


  3. Ann says:

    Thanks, Angela
    Great post.
    “not an option” … Not at all. How often we forget.


    • “Not an option” means that wherever I am, whomever I meet, is my mission field. I need to remember that.
      If they were in physical danger, I would help them. Shouldn’t my response be more immediate, more urgent, when I see them in eternal danger? I need to see people on the edge of eternity.


  4. admin says:

    God loves to challenge us. Thank you for a thought provoking post!


  5. writinggomer says:

    Excellent post with a great reminder of what we are to be about in this life.


  6. Bee says:

    I wonder if I can live up to the Scripture: “…being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.” That is certainly a great commission! I want to be one who tirelessly works to reveal the love of God, if only because He has done so much to save my pitiful soul.
    God bless you!


    • When we think of all He has done for us, can we count ANY service as too much to ask?
      I think of the words found written in the diary of Jim Elliot, missionary killed by the Auca Indians:
      So live, that when you come to die, you have nothing left to do but die”


  7. Rob Barkman says:

    The responsiblity to share Christ with the lost world should be a Christian’s first priority… sharing His Word through our speech and actions. Unfortunately, we all need a reminder and encouragement to fulfill this God-given task. Lord bless you.


  8. mtsweat says:

    What a great challenge to be about His work… and not mine. That God is glorified is our only concern. Lord, let us quit spending so much of our days trying to be seen! God bless, good friend.


  9. Debbie says:

    Wow, Mentor Angela. “As a Christian I am challenged”. That this isn’t a hobby or something for us to do in our spare time. God bless you for our wake up call to do as He commanded us to do. love and prayers!


    • Debbie, for me the challenges keep on coming! But isn’t that a good thing? As a parent, I challenged my children because I loved them and wanted the best for them. Now, my loving Father keeps challenging me (even in old age) because He loves me and wants the best for me.
      What an amazing Father God!


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