Portrait of the Abbé Paul Irénée Couturier, 1881-1953
by Brigitte Comby de Molliens,
specially commissioned by Unité Chrétienne

for the 2003 Fiftieth Anniversary
"Humility, the fruit of prayer, opens all barred roads"

Paul Couturier was a French priest, much loved by Christian people all round the world and revered by leaders in other faiths, who saw in his profound Christian spirituality a love of God and a love of humanity with which they too could identify.

He became known as the apostle of Christian Unity. At the Second Vatican Council, his hopes for Christian Unity, through closer conversion of all Christians to Christ and in an ever growing holiness, spiritual ecumenism, were expressly embraced as the hope and work of the entire Catholic Church in Unitatis Redintegratio, the Decree on Ecumenism. It is largely thanks to his humble, tireless efforts that the modern Week of Prayer for the Unity of Christians came into being.

In January 2008 the Church throughout the world kept the Centenary of the beginnings of the Week of Prayer in its predecessor, the Church Unity Octave. This was also the 65th Anniversary its re-invention by Paul Couturier as the Universal Week of Prayer by Christians for the Unity of Christians - the modern Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Here are some resources to promote Spiritual Ecumenism:

Daily Intercessions for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - according to an early scheme devised by Paul Couturier, adapted for contemporary use.

THE UNITY OF CHRISTIANS: THE VISION OF PAUL COUTURIER - A book online about the Apostle of Unity, published in 2003 for the 50th Anniversary since Couturier's death.

Archbishop Rowan Williams' 2003 call to a fresh Spiritual Ecumenism - from a conference at St Alban's Abbey with Cardinal Kasper, arranged by the Newman Society and the Society for Ecumenical Studies

Rejesus - Churches Together in England's spirituality pages

This website celebrates Paul Couturier's pioneer call to Spiritual Ecumenism. It was created in 2003 by The Catholic League (UK) for the Fiftieth Anniversary of his death on 24th March 1953. It is also supported by the Society for Ecumenical Studies. (It was updated and content transferred to Google-Blogger in 2016.)