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​A year after Sr Ruth’s death

Various events between August and September commemorated the anniversary of the death of the German doctor and woman religious, Ruth Pfau, who devoted her life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan. A doctor, she joined the Daughters of the Heart of Mary in 1957. Sent on mission to Southern India, she was blocked in Karachi because of a problem: she stayed there for 57 years, totally dedicated to saving the lepers abandoned by their families. Indeed it was thanks to her efforts that in 1996 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Pakistan to be one of the first Asian countries to “keep leprosy under control”. Creator of the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center, which today has 157 branches in Pakistan, Sr Ruth was the first woman (and onlythe third person) to receive a State funeral in Pakistan. The Government named the civilian hospital of Karachi after her while the National Bank of Pakistan has recently minted a 50-rupee coin to commemorate her.

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 25, 2019

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