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JERUSALEM – On March 26, 2017, in Abu Dis, Little Sister Christine of the Little Sisters of Jesus celebrated 50 years of religious life, surrounded by the residents of Our Lady of Sorrows Home, a retirement home where she now serves, the fraternities of the Little Sisters of Jesus of Palestine and Israel and their friends.

Simplicity and Love! By these words one could describe the Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Father Rafiq Khoury, a priest of the Latin Patriarchate, on the occasion of the 50 years of religious life of Little Sister Christine. At the same time, the words could also define her life: Simplicity in the service of Love: the love of Christ and, consequently, love of the poorest and most forsaken.

For more than sixty years, the Little Sisters of Jesus have been in the Holy Land living the hidden life of Jesus in Nazareth. Following Brother Charles de Foucauld and Sr. Magdeleine of Jesus, the founders of the Communities, they have lived close to the people in different cities of the diocese. The most well known location is the 6th station of the Via Dolorosa where the Little Sisters have a small shop, while sharing the life of the population of the Old City and living closer to the humanity of Christ.

It was there that Sr. Christina arrived more than fifty years ago before professing her first religious vows in the small church of St. Veronica where Love takes the form of simple linen.

For fifty years, the Little Sister has lived in different communities established in the Holy Land. The period that most marked her life was the time spent with the families of Gaza in the heart of the conflict.

In his homily, Father Rafiq recalled three elements that constituted the fifty years that formed this “love story”, this “Covenant”: God “who accompanied Christine, day after day, at every step of her life, by His mysterious and real presence, by His living and vivifying Word, by His Body and Blood; the Fraternity of the Little Sisters  “who gave her models (Brother Charles and Little Sister Magdeleine), a spirituality, a lifestyle, the vision of presence and a testimony”; and the Palestinian people, with whom the Little Sisters are in solidarity and communion, the Palestinians of the little people of their vicinity, their neighborhood, their surroundings, their environment.”

With her sisters of the Community, Little Sister Christine continues today, with the same simplicity of Love, to give to the residents of the Home of Our Lady of Sorrows and with the same desire as Little Sister Magdeleine, the founder: to advance towards Jesus with the poorest, the most forsaken, and without distinction of religion.

Cécile Klos

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