Mother Teresa

“I wanted to become a Mother to the poorest of the world’s poor” It was in September of 1946 that Mother Teresa received the great inspiration of her life in a railway carriage bound for Darjeeling while contemplating the poverty all around her—to become a mother to the poorest of the world’s poor. Mother Teresa’s…

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to the non-violent struggle against the system of racial segregation known as Apartheid in South Africa. On August 5, 1962, he was arrested by the police and sentenced to life imprisonment. He refused to be released to remain consistent with his principles. After 27 years in prison, he was released…

Fiodor Dostoïevski

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) ” The man is an enigma. This enigma must be exposed “. At the age of 18, Dostoevsky had already formulated his vital mission: “Man is an enigma. This enigma must be exposed. And if I spend my life laying it bare, do not tell me I’m wasting my time. I am…

Alexandre Solzhenitsyn

Alexandre Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) “I wanted to be the memory … the memory of a people victim of an unspeakable tragedy.” Literature, like politics, the business world, science and religion, is a privileged field for the exercise of magnanimity. Very shortly after his arrest by the Soviet political police, Alexander Solzhenitsyn grasped the meaning and scope…

Thomas More

Thomas More (1478-1535) “The purity of my conscience.That’s the source of my jubilation” To remain true to his conscience, Sir Thomas More, the great humanist and Lord Chancellor of King Henry VIII, refused to recognize the latter as the self-proclaimed leader of a new church of his own invention. Although cruelly treated during the fifteen…

Corazon Aquino

Corazon Aquino (1933-2009) “ Without true values, a democracy is only a confederation of lunatics. ” Corazon Aquino, President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992, is a good example of virtuous leadership. After the assassination of her husband, the popular Senator Begnino Aquino, Cory Aquino became the keystone of the opposition to autocratic President…

Eric Liddell

Eric Liddell (1902-1945) “God made me fast”. Eric Liddell, the Scottish athlete who won the 400m gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics and one of the heroes of the film Chariots of Fires (1981), was one day overturned by one of his competitors at the start of a race. Discontented, he hesitated a moment…

Jerome Lejeune

Jerome Lejeune (1926-1994) “Defend the scientific truth and the great moral truth that follows: here is my mission”. Jerome Lejeune is the French geneticist who discovered in 1958, at the age of thirty-two years, during the examination of the chromosomes of a child called “Mongolian” (Down syndrome), the existence of a chromosome in too much…

Martin Luther-King

Martin Luther-King (1929-1968) “I have a dream” Martin Luther King is a wonderful example of magnanimity. Magnanimity is the virtue of persons who are at once philosophers and men of action. King was a non-violent civil rights activist for blacks in the United States. In 1963 he wrote from his Birmingham jail: “When you have…

BADEN-POWELL

BADEN-POWELL ( 1857- 1941 ) « An officer can only be a good leader if he loves his men » Baden- Powell, although he had a brilliant and dazzling career in the British army, is known not so much for his military achievements as for founding the Scout movement. He spent much of his childhood in the…