Emmaus is an international solidarity movement founded in Paris in 1949 by Catholic priest and Capuchin friar Abbé Pierre to combat poverty and homelessness. Since 1971 regional and national initiatives have been grouped under a parent organization, Emmaus International, now run by Jean Rousseau, representing 350 groups in 37 countries, offering a range of charitable services.
Emmaus is a secular organisation, but Communities around the world have kept the name because of its symbolism. The biblical story, found in the Gospel of Luke, describes how two men saw the resurrected Jesus on the road to the town of Emmaus, and so regained hope. The organization's guiding principle can be found in the Universal Manifesto of Emmaus International: