Sister Emmanuelle – Belgium and France (1908 – 2008)

Linked with the New Civilisation Network NCN.

PARIS (AP) — Sister Emmanuelle, a nun who lived for years among scavengers in Cairo’s slums and who won wide acclaim for defending the rights of the poor and marginalized, died Monday at age 99. A spokeswoman for her association, Sandrine de Carlo, said the Belgium-born nun died in her sleep at a retirement home in Callian, a town in southeastern France. Sister Emmanuelle spent more than two decades working with Cairo’s zabbaleen, or garbage collectors, who eke out a living through scavenging. She helped create a network of clinics, schools and gardens to serve the children of the slums, and an association she founded now operates in eight countries, from Lebanon to Burkina Faso … (full text).

Sister Emmanuelle, whose real name was Madeleine Cinquin, was born in Belgium on 16 November 1908 … The Roman Catholic nun, who dedicated her life to helping the poor in North Africa and France, died Monday. A spokeswoman for the association that Sister Emmanuelle founded said she died peacefully in her sleep at a retirement home in southeastern France … (full text).

Sister Emmanuelle – Her Life (full long text).

Listen this short french video on the TV channel France24.


Sister Emmanuelle – France and Belgium

She works for Notre Dame de Sion … (also on wikipedia).

Born in Brussels, Belgium, the daughter of a family of lingerie manufacturers. At the age of six she saw her father drown. She was educated at the Sorbonne, earning a degree in philosophy. In 1929, she took her religious vows and became a nun. She worked in Notre-Dame de Sion high school in İstanbul in the 1930s. In 1971, she witnessed the impoverished conditions of the trash collectors in Cairo, Egypt, and decided to live among them. She remained there until 1993, when she returned to France. It was upon her return that she gained the status of a media sensation in France, as she was well received by audiences and talk-show hosts. In addition to her charity work, she is known for her unorthodox religious views, including approval of the use of contraception and favouring the idea of allowing priests to marry. She has been voted one of the most popular people in France, and has been compared to Mother Teresa. (Although she viewed the comparisons with Mother Theresa as “ridiculous”). In 2003, French television broadcast Soeur Emmanuelle: An exceptional woman.She died on 20 October 2008 aged 99 of natural causes and old age. She died on October 20, 2008 in Callian … (full text).

… France’s favourite woman.

At the age of 62, Sister Emmanuelle decided to leave her home in France to work with the “Garbage people of Cairo” (the “Zabblin”) the approximately 40,000 strong “pariahs” of Egyptian society who make their living collecting and sorting the 16,000 tons of trash produced daily in Cairo. Sister Emmanuelle didn’t just work with the garbage pickers, she lived with them and through her ministry tried to lessen their suffering – especially the children. She realized that education was the only means of escape for these youngsters and so in the middle of the garbage dump she has opened kindergartens, schools and hospitals. At first the garbage pickers and the residents of Cairo thought she was crazy but when she stuck around, the citizens, and ultimately the government of Cairo took notice and provided support. (New Civilisation Network).


SHE was a bright young thing of the Parisian annees folles, the interwar “crazy years”, who danced into the night with smartly dressed boys and lusted after the latest throwaway fashions. Proud, wilful and flirtatious, she once fell in love with a man for his seductive intellect and beautiful handwriting … (full text).

Message from Sister Emmanuelle.

Find her and her publications on Google Book-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Friends of Sister Emmanuelle – A quarter of century in the service of the most deprived.


Heart and Soul: L’Abbé Pierre;

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam;

Nonviolence Exhibition.

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