In 1962 six twenty year olds from the same Greek village fled from their families because they were unable to realize their dream, to become nuns. The story is the origin of Lyrio Children's Village, a small cluster of five houses in the mountains twenty kilometres from Athens and which for fifty years has welcomed abandoned children. The six girls from that time arrived to take care of three hundred children. The story was told by the American director Valerie Kontakos, who shot the documentary Mana (Mum in Greek) of these amazing "feminists" who went "against everyone to found a religious order of their own and take care of children", succeeding thanks only to aid from the private individuals, without any public funding. Step by step, these women have become a reference point for the whole country, distinguishing themselves also through the use of a very different approach from to that usually used by institutions. When a child is entrusted to them, these religious women seek to reunite them with any brothers and sisters in other establishments. Those in their care do not have to leave the home at 18, being able to choose to remain. Four of the original nuns are still currently managing this “children's village" (one is dead and a sixth is working in a home that takes in widows): their names are Mary, Dorothea, Parthenia and Kaliniki.
St. Peter’s Square
Aug. 17, 2019
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