By: Father Denis Egan
She is called the most beloved woman in the world. She seeks out the poor in whatever corner of the world they are gathered, to bring them love and sense of dignity. Honoured by nations, she looks astonishingly frail at the side of Prelates and Prime Ministers yet at 77 she still cleans the toilets and bathes the maggot-infested wounds of the dying and destitute. In Calcutta alone her Sisters of Charity have rescued some 50,000 of the poorest of the poor from its streets. In an aged that is absorbed in the pursuit of material wealth she stands as a sign of contradiction, and challenges the values of our secular worlds by her reverence for the Poor. The following account of her recent visit to the Philippines is based on a report by Fr. Denis Egan.
Arrives in Olongapo
As she stepped from Bishops Aniceto’s car in Olongapo, in the sweltering heat of the Philippines, her frail figure was immediately surrounded by an excited crowed. They were eager to shake her hand, but she was not at ease with the film star treatment. She took her rosary beads in the elongated fingers that were so accustomed to dressing wounds, and concentrated on her prayers.