Representing the four branches of the French military, "Les Padres" are a viral sensation on YouTube.
Singing priests and religious are nothing new, but these four military chaplains—representing the four French military forces—are taking the internet by storm.
After the success of their covers on YouTube, the group known as “Les Padres” has announced the release of their first album on May 27. It was during the second lockdown that the idea of releasing an album was born, following the viral success of their videos, which have accumulated over 3.5 million views on YouTube.
Composed of two priests, Charles Troesch and Pierre Fresson, as well as a deacon, Pierre Guihaire, the group is accompanied on guitar and violin by two lay chaplains, Samuel Marquet and Marie-Hélène Astruc. Together, they represent the four French military forces: the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Gendarmerie.
For the recording of the album and the shooting of the clips, the Padrés met from January 24 to 30, at a prestigious French military academy, the Prytanée National Militaire of La Flèche (which has produced famous alumni including philosopher René Descartes). Directed by Warrant Officer Ludovic, who also plays the bagpipes, the choir of the prestigious educational establishment also participated in several tracks of the album, six of the thirteen songs that make up the album. The album will be released on CD and on all platforms on May 27, and half of the profits will be donated to the armed forces’ wounded.
According to Les Padres, “the thirteen tracks on the album were chosen for their emotional and spiritual strength as well as for the memory they carry.” Thus, these songs pay tribute to the military vocation and bear witness to the most essential questions asked by those who commit their lives to it.