On 21 January 2012, five years after Abbé Pierre´s death, the Emmaus movement set up a heritage site in Normandy, France in memory of its founder. The Abbé Pierre – Emmaus Centre, with its elaborate set design, recounts this remarkable man´s life story and ideas along with Emmaus’ work around the world, past and present. It also organises temporary exhibitions portraying Abbé Pierre and Emmaus’ work.
The centre welcomes school visits. In 2013 the French Ministry of Culture and Communication included the centre on its register of Maison des Illustres, a status granted to sites whose purpose is to conserve collections pertaining to public figures in order to increase their visibility, and to promote remarkable buildings for their history and because of the people who lived in them.
The centre is located in Esteville at the house where Abbé Pierre would often stay and where he actually lived for a few years. According to his wishes, he is buried in the village alongside 40 companions, including the first, Georges Legay, and the co-founder of the Emmaus movement, Lucie Coutaz.
” First and foremost, we wanted to pay tribute to our founder, Abbé Pierre, who is an inspiration to us all. We also want to continue telling people about and honouring this extraordinary man, who was of an astonishing audacity and simplicity. Above all, we want to continue his fight alongside the weakest and forgotten members of society with whom we work in many parts of the world. “Jean Rousseau, Chair of the Abbé Pierre – Emmaus Centre