A letter from Karl Barth written on the 19th January 1956 after Pierre Maury’s death on the 13th of the same month.




This letter is part of the Maury family’s private collection. It was addressed to an unknown lady who obviously knew Maury well as Barth refers to Maury’s work in his parish. The following at times free translation is my attempt to decipher Barth’s handwriting and has some gaps for which I apologise. Barth’s sense of loss is keenly felt and the great esteem, which he held for Maury.

Dear Mademoiselle – you knew how intimately Pierre Maury and I were bound together. He was so lively, so sincere, so faithful. He knew so well how to share the life, the thought …of so many. We were so sure of finding in him, amongst all his friends, the good friend ( lit a way of saying the truly genuine friend). I have only come to realise little by little, that he is no longer amongst us.

You knew much closer than I his work in his parish, in the church of France and in his ecumenical relationships. I fear that the intensity of devotion in which he threw himself into many matters that he judged important in which he gave himself alongside people that he could and wanted to help, contributed to the decline of his health. We saw him…since a long time ago.

Oh well, he sees, he understands……that which he has believed and which he has loved in this life.

…………Karl Barth.



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