Brother Raphaël-Louis Rafiringa, a great but unfortunately little known Brother of the Christian Schools, died just over a century ago during the Spanish Flu epidemic. This article, which is being published in the English-language during the current pandemic, will attempt to give some sense of the life and achievements of this extraordinary Lasallian educator; and it will unfold in a number of brief sections: (1) son of a blacksmith; (2) respected leader; (3) Christian educator; (4) religious academician; (5) literary author; (6) the Malagasy Academy; (7) pioneer of inculturation in the Malagasy cultural milieu; (8) “missionary” in a Malagasy context; (9) Lasallian pioneer of a human and Christian education in Madagascar; (10) initiator of a pedagogy modeling culture and faith; and (11) precursor of the ecumenical movement in the Malagasy Church.
Keywords: leader, pioneer, academician, education, Madagascar, inculturation, literary work, community, Malagasy Academy, faith, pedagogy, missionaries, laypeople
Rabenalisoa Ravalitera, Jean
Jean Rabenalisoa Ravalitera, who is a lecturer-researcher at the University of Antananarivo, is a full member of the Malagasy Academy. He received his doctor of humane letters degree from Université d’Antananarivo in Madagascar.
Brother Hilaire Raharilalao, who is the vice-postulator of the cause of Brother Raphaël-Louis Rafiringa, is a full member of the Malagasy Academy. He received his doctor of biblical theology degree from Université de l’Afrique de l’Ouest in the Ivory Coast.