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Henri Dunant was a wealthy 19th century Swiss banker when the Swiss government sent him to Paris to work on a business deal with Napoleon. When he got to Paris, they told him that Napoleon was off fighting a war against the Austrians in Solferino, Italy. So Dunant got back into his carriage and set his horses galloping down to the battlefront. He got there just in time to hear the bugles blast and see the thundering charge of Napoleon's troops. Dunant had never before witnessed the ghastly carnage of war. He watched in horror as cannonballs tore through human flesh, and acres of land became heaped with disfigured and dying men. Henry Dunant was so devastated that he remained at the front for weeks helping doctors tend to the wounded in churches and nearby farmhouses.

After his return to Switzerland, Dunant continued to be haunted by the images of war he had seen in Italy. He could not keep his mind on banking and became so distracted that he lost all his wealth. Even so, he had a sense that God was at work behind the scenes. Later, he wrote of this time in his life and said, "I was aware of an intuition, vague and yet profound, that [this was] God's Will; it seemed to me that I had [something] to accomplish... as a sacred duty and that it was destined to have fruits of infinite consequence for mankind."

And that's exactly what happened. Out of his depression and...

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