'Mother Teresa of Pakistan' Dies at 87

Published 28 August 2017  |  

'Mother Teresa of Pakistan', a German nun who devoted her life to serve those with leprosy, will be given a state funeral, after dying on Aug. 10 in Karachi at the age of 87.

Sister Ruth Pfau was officially sent to India, but visa problems had stopped her journey at Karachi, Pakistan. It was her visit to a leprosy colony in the city that motivated her to stay there, in service of those with the disease, according to Crux.

Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi declared her service to the country "selfless and unmatched," and said Pfau "may have been born in Germany, but her heart was always in Pakistan."

"She gave new hope to innumerable people and proved through her illustrious toil that serving humanity knows no boundaries," said Abbasi.

"We are proud of her exemplary services, and she will remain in our hearts as a shining symbol in times ahead," he added.

Pfau died in a hospital affiliated with the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center, which she founded.

During her time in Pakistan, she found 157 medical centers to give medical aid to people infected with leprosy. Her efforts helped the country to become one of Asia's first countries to be declared leprosy-free by the World Health Organization in 1996. Now the medical infrastructure she built is treating patients with tuberculosis.

"During her lifetime, Dr. Ruth worked tirelessly for the poor and the marginalized communities and was locally known as the Mother Teresa of Pakistan," said a statement issued by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), an organization affiliated with the Pakistan Catholic Bishops' Conference.

"With her endless efforts and continuous struggle, she helped Pakistan eradicate the disease and become leprosy free in 1996," it said. "She has been a prominent symbol of human empathy, motherhood and selfless love and service due to his six decades long service in Pakistan," the statement read.

Pfau will always be known as a national hero, a legend whose services for humanity were nothing less than a pure manifestation of God's divine love, noted NCJP.


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