Religion: Reawakening in France

The most popular preacher in Paris is Jesuit Father Michel Riquet. "The French are better Christians today than they used to be," says Père Riquet. "There are more of them; they pray more and go more often to church."

Stout, stern-faced Jesuit Riquet seems to Parisians almost a one-man revival in himself. Each Sunday during Lent—even when the warm promise of spring brought crowds to the sidewalk cafés and the banks of the Seine—49-year-old Father Riquet filled the cold, damp, dark interior of Notre Dame to capacity with the power of his preaching.

Three years ago Père Riquet preached to his first large...

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