Monday, August 4, 2014

The Ebola Sisters

The Servants of God, Srs Floralba Rondi, Clarangela Ghilardi, Danielangela Sorti, Dinarosa Belleri, Annelvira Ossoli, Vitarosa Zorza

The outbreak of the Ebola virus in west Africa is causing concern in Europe. The British parliament discussed it last week and the Prime Minister had to reassure the British that they should be okay. Of course the poor people of west Africa are not so fortunate. The virus is spreading faster than medical agencies can control it. We must remember the victims in our prayers, and perhaps sending a few quid to some of the charities that are dealing with it might be a good idea. Of course prudence should dictate as to who should be supported since some of these agencies are also promoting abortion in the Third World.

In the midst of this suffering heroic men and women are working in to save lives or help people die with dignity and in peace. We should also remember them. When I think of such selfless people I remember the heroic service of the six Palazzolo sisters who sacrifice their lives in the service of the sick and dying during the Ebola outbreak in the Congo in 1995. Their Cause for beatification has been opened.

The six sisters, Srs Floralba Rondi, Clarangela Ghilardi, Danielangela Sorti, Dinarosa Belleri, Annelvira Ossoli, Vitarosa Zorza were working in Kikwit in the Congo, when the virus broke out. Faced with the horrors of the epidemic, each of the sisters had to make a personal decision. Drawing on the example and charism of their founder Blessed Luigi Palazzolo, they reiterated their dedication to the poor and the sick, for whom they were founded, and accepted their inevitable death in order to care for the sick and dying. Being highly contagious, each of the sisters contracted it and died agonizing deaths between the 25th April and 28th May 1995. Their Cause is being promoted as a martyrdom, martyrs of charity.

May they intercede for all those suffering from the virus, and all who serve them.

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