The Grouès family first settled down in Sala Street, in the bourgeois neighbourhood of Ainay in Lyon before moving to one of the prosperous suburbs of the city, Irigny…
Curious by nature, Henri is an unruly child. He wants to learn everything, always wanting to know. His father must show much skill in raising the young man… the Grouès family education is above all a religious one. Antoine fills out his Christian duty with concrete actions in favour of the poor in Lyon.
“I saw my father with his apron and scissors giving a poor man a haircut. He wasn’t doing it very well, the man scolding him constantly for pulling his hair. When we left, he said to us:
“have you seen how difficult it is to be dignified in helping the poor?”
Another event marks Henri’s youth. While with his brothers at a boarding school in Saint-Irénée, his mother being too weak to keep all her children with her, Henri runs away one weekend of detention. Back home, he is feverish and diagnosed with the mumps. He is pampered by his mother and sisters. When the school’s letter denouncing his escape finally arrives, no one has the heart to reprimand him.
“From this event, I came to the conclusion that luck was by my side. It was also the origin of my audacity in taking risks, knowing that what is just never fails.”