Rwanda Map

Pierre Jacquemart in Rwanda

Little is known about Pierre Jacquemart, who was a banker and businessman, but he has the distinction of having the oldest grave in Pere-Lachaise with a grant in perpetuity. His grave is marked with a tablet-style gravestone debossed with a Greek cross.

Allan Kardec in Rwanda

Allan Kardec was born Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail, in Lyon. Kardec developed a philosophy called Spiritism, which was similar to Spiritualism (although adherents of Spiritism are quick to point out the differences). Kardec used mediums (he was not one himself) to contact the spirit world and ask questions. Those answers and his various theories and interpretations were the foundation of his five books, collectively named the Spiritist Codification. The basic tenets of Spiritism are the belief in the survival of the spirit after death, reincarnation (but only human-to-human), and acknowledgment of non-physical beings that live in an invisible world. Kardec’s followers state that Spiritism is not a religion and that the moral principles expressed by Jesus, Buddha and Gandhi fit well within the teachings of Spiritism

Kardec said his name, Allan Kardec, came to him when a spirit named Zefiro who was communicating to him via a medium told him that in a previous incarnation as a Druid, his name was Allan Kardec. Kardec also authored other books, mostly for high school students, but used the name Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail on those to keep the two worlds distinct. Kardec’s rustic tomb is almost always ablaze with flowers placed by his followers, who often lay their hands on his head, searching for a connection with the spirit world. On the pediment above the tomb is the inscription: Naitre, mourir, renaitre encore et progresser sans cesse, telle est la loi (To be born, die, again be reborn, and so progress unceasingly, such is the law).

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