When French poet and dramatist Victor Hugo (1802-1885) wrote Les Misérables in 1862, people in Paris and everywhere lined up to buy the novel which championed the poor and was set in post-revolution France.
"Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come," Hugo said.
The inspirational story celebrated the life of Jean Valjean, who was imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread and sought redemption through good works.
"People do not lack strength; they lack will," Hugo observed as he showed how the spirit struggled and survived in tough times and raged against social injustice.
Called a "legend of the century," Hugo lived in voluntary exile on the island of Guernsey during the reign of Napoleon III. Upon the writer's death, millions lined the Champs-Elysees to pay respect to Hugo who lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe. He was buried as a national hero in the Panthéon.
"The guilty one is not he who commits the sin," Hugo said passionately, "but the one who causes the darkness."
Like a prayer, redemption in Les Misérables, is found through love and compassion. The answers in man's search for God are found through love.
More Victor HUGO Quotations
Pray, and know that the answer is found through love.