Emmaus Bolton recently unearthed a signed copy of a book written by the founder of the Emmaus movement, Abbé Pierre.

Charity Director Tony stumbled upon the book while searching the internet for resources to support the community and trustees. ‘Abbé Pierre and The Rag Pickers of Emmaus’ first went to print in 1955.

At first, the community had no idea the book was signed. It was only months later, when Tony was leafing through the copy that Abbé Pierre’s signature was discovered. It has since been verified by Emmaus International archives department.

How Emmaus was founded

Abbé Pierre and The Rag Pickers of Emmaus

Abbé Pierre and The Rag Pickers of Emmaus

The book is a first-hand account from Abbé Pierre of how Emmaus was founded in 1949, based on the principles of solidarity and community. Back then, as it is today, Emmaus works to combat poverty and homelessness by providing people with a sense of purpose and belonging.

It chronicles the struggles and successes of the early days of the Emmaus movement, including the creation of workshops where people could learn new skills and the establishment of a social enterprise that sold second hand goods to fund the community’s work.

Why Emmaus is important

The book’s discovery is a reminder of the importance of his work, that is now carried out by 400 Emmaus organisations in 40 countries around the world.

Signed Abbé Pierre book

Abbé Pierre’s signature

Tony said: ” Abbé Pierre’s believed that everyone has a right to a dignified life, and that’s what we strive to provide here at Emmaus.

“This book is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact that the Emmaus movement can have on people’s lives. Abbé Pierre’s vision of a world where everyone has a place and a purpose is as relevant today as it was when he founded the movement over 70 years ago.

“We are honoured to carry a book with his signature and carry on his legacy today.”

Other books by Abbé Pierre

Emmaus Bolton recently produced an English language version of another book written by our founder: ‘Abbé Pierre Speaks’, which we re-covered and typeset. Ahead of World Book Day, copies were distributed as a gift for CEOs and chairs to share with every Emmaus community in the UK.


To find out more about the list of books written by and about Emmaus and Abbé Pierre, visit the Emmaus International’s archive here.