Brothers Jaccard : Charity without borders
The brothers Pierre and Raymond JACCARD are two priests, blood brothers, born both of them at Villers-le-Lac on the Franco-Swiss border (in 1927 and 1931 respectively). From siblings of four boys Leo and Xavier (twin brother of Raymond ) are now deceased. Ernest JACCARD, their father , was managing a watch factory while Simone (born Cuenot) their mother became crippled of one leg early in her youth. Both remaining boys were ordained priests in Besançon : Pierre in 1953 and Raymond in 1956.
After spending three years in the parish of Audincourt (Doubs) Father Peter joined the Little Brothers of Charles de Foucauld and lived first in the desert then in France, in Algeria, in Belgium and in Spain sharing his life with the poorest of the Poor.
Then in 1971 he joined his brother Raymond in Cameroon.
After 10 years as a parish priest in Besançon, Father Raymond went to Douala where he had been called to serve as chaplain in the leprosarium . Noticing the uselessness of the medical care typically given to the lepers he came to the hard conclusion that these sick people had to be operated in order to help them to stand up (physically as well as mentally) and cure them definitely of their osteitis which was eating up their members. Raymond was trained by a surgeon friend to the excisional surgery (surgical intervention consisting in removing an element affecting the organism – a rotten member or a rotten part of an infected member) .
As for Pierre , he trained himself in working out prostheses in order to work as a team with his brother.
Children of Franche-Comté, son of a watchmaker inventor of the JACCARD clock their innate creativity helped with much skill would allow them to innovate to fabricate apparatuses cheap, efficient and adaptable due to the raw material found on the spot ……
They will write several books explaining the techniques of the Jaccard prostheses. These techniques developed and tested and improved as they trained new teams all along their way. They taught and trained Doctor Jean-Baptiste Richardier in Thaïland at the beginning of the 80’s who later on will found NGO Handicap International of which he is still its president.
Monsignor Zoa, bishop of Yaoundé (Cameroon) followed closely the brothers ‘work. Soon he appointed them to the large leprosarium depicted as “dumping ground”….After they had formed people able to replace them among the lepers and children suffering of polio Mgrs. Zoa decided to send them as Fidei Donum priests (id lended by a bishop to another diocese) all over the world wherever they were needed. Thus the brothers will go to many countries to train surgeons, prosthesists, in leprosarium, refugee camps or cataclysms areas which left many amputated wounded. They were called by bishops, religious congregations, even governmental health service in some countries (they will go three times in Vietnam). This is how they earned the nickname of “Charity globe-trotters“.
From physical leprosy to moral leprosy …
In the course of years, the brothers had to face other forms of handicaps and poverty. Called in Columbia for the lepers, they come in contact with the world of prostitution through the Hermanas Adoratrices of Columbia who through their ecclesial vocation take care of it. The sisters train street girls and women to get some skills in order to have them recover their women’s dignity.
The missionary life of the two Brothers carries on taking a new orientation ….
At 85 and 81, the two brothers had to give up their lengthy travels ; health taking its toll! But they did not renounce all the same to their missionary life which take different orientation. The Jaccard Brothers are chaplains of two contemplative convents : the Sisters of Bethlehem et St Bruno, Peter in the Monastery of the GLORY OF GOD LA GLOIRE DIEU aux Montsvoirons (74) and
Raymond in the Monastery the UNITE in Pugny-Chatenod (73).
Their Association “UN PAS avec les Frères Jaccard” carries on the Mission too !
The Jaccard Brothers have a vast network of friends who take at heart to sensitize people to the distress of the most unfortunate. Thanks to the help altogether material and spiritual of their friends, the brothers continue their caritative work.) Since 1991 their friends regroup themselves in an Association : un P.A.S. avec les Frères Jaccard. It goes on helping the young women in the world of prostitution in Columbia through the Hermanas Adoratrices and the lepers in China through CASA RICCI SOCIAL SERVICES founded by Father Luis RUIZ (deceased in 2011).
” The ideal for a Priest is to create links in order to weave together God’s People “
Pope John Paul II