Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kenyan nun who photographed God is headed for sainthood

Sister Anna Ali lies on bloodied bed. She used to cry tears of blood before she died. [PHOTO: COURTESY] 

ELDORET KENYA: A Kenyan nun who died two years ago may follow in the footsteps of former Catholic Archbishop Maurice Cardinal Otunga on the road to sainthood if the revelations about her life and activities are anything to go by, The Standard has learnt. The late Sister Ann Ali, the first born in a family of five — two brothers and three sisters — has shocked many Christians including her mentor Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Cornelius Korir who believes the long process to sainthood could be the only thing standing in the way. Sister Ali who was born of a Muslim father and a Christian mother hence the name Ali has a heart wrenching story that has baffled many of those who knew her. Her father Ali Abdul Rahimani, a Muslim died on October 20, 1991. She was a committed Christian, lived a quiet life and close to only a few members of her church in order to keep her life a secret, Bishop Korir told The Standard in his office. TEARS OF BLOOD According to information gathered about the late nun, Ali, who became a Christian in the Catholic Church in 1979, used to shed tears of blood, something that shocked those who witnessed it. She started falling ill while at Kepkelion Primary School in Kericho County, and Koru Girls Secondary School which was run by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy. Her health continued deteriorating, forcing her to look for healing crusades after all else failed. A story she wrote about herself in one of her books, stated that she attended several prayer crusades without success. “I had been sick for about seven years. I used to bleed from my fingers and toes. My mother took me to many different hospitals, but I was not cured. From there I heard that there was a healing crusade in Nairobi which was being held by the Catholic Church,” the book reads in part. It continues: “When it was announced that those who needed to be healed move forward, I prayed first quietly and asked God to heal me. In that process the words of God touched me. I fell down and I was carried to a safe place unconscious, but when I came to myself, I realised that I was not bleeding from my fingers and toes anymore as it used to be.” But even with the bleeding having been miraculously cured, her troubles did not end there. In 1990, the devil struck again, and this time her right hand became weak and almost paralysed. Things got so bad she almost missed an Italian language course for sisters in her order between July-August 1991. Her hope was stretched to the limit, but regular messages from God, she says, kept her strong. She says God told her not to abandon her duties.

“I received messages from God nearly every day telling me to go and ask people to come back and repent because Jesus was crucified on the cross due to our sins, but we have forgotten Him, and even do bad things than before,” she said in the book. Ali says the Lord told her at the beginning of the apparitions on April 16, 1987, that she should be a servant of love and not hide His glory. She was also instructed to pray for the scandals of the world, glorify the Lord’s name daily and warned not to be afraid of calling His name. She claimed that she was also instructed not to be worried about the devil’s work, saying the Lord told her that the devil was on the way with a view of tempting her faith and even trouble her. “I want your life to be a prayer for the church and poor sinners for the many who are suffering as I was suffering,” the book quotes. She said when she was speaking to the Lord in trance, the message was recorded by a nun identified as Sister Regina Mwamba as well as other people. The same incident also happened on April 24, 1988 where she revealed that the Lord wanted her to follow her painful path for the good of souls. However, people who knew her did not believe her when she narrated all three to them. “I was revealing what God had told me and they didn’t believe but these are the real words from God, ‘Listen to me I am above this earth, I have allowed you and you alone to photograph me for them to know the truth’. I managed to photograph Him but what surprised me is that when I took the full image, it came out a passport size picture of the image of Christ because he did not want people to know how he looks like,” the book continued to reveal. WONDERFUL MIRACLES “These people including close friends did not even believe me with the camera I was using, and they bought for me another new camera which also came out with the same image,” she adds. There was also another miracle where a photographer in Uganda attempted to take a picture of the sister while attending a seminar there but when he produced the film, the picture of Mary the mother of Jesus appeared in the background holding the holy sacrament. All these pictures are available at the Cathedral church in Eldoret. Bishop Korir says Sister Ali had a few friends she would consult whenever she was in pain.The process for her sainthood cannot be started until three years elapse, in accordance with Catholic Church doctrine. However, Bishop Korir promised that once the period expires, the diocese will commence the process by setting up a commission as was the case with the late Cardinal Otunga. “The lady had shown us several wonderful miracles, which I as a bishop have never seen in my life. Even the cameras she used to photograph the alleged Lord were later blown up after she finished taking the pictures. We did not believe and bought a new one. Surprisingly it was also damaged, according to the technician who attended both of them,” Bishop Korir told The Standard in his Eldoret office.

“We always talked about her following some of the miraculous things she used to say an do. She had a unique character and always gave us hope of life even when she was in pain,” said her mother Priscah Nyambura, adding that she was a role model to her siblings. Some Catholics who knew her and whom we interviewed said Sister Ali was committed to the church, and the miracles that took place through her baffled many faithful in Eldoret. Last weekend, Bishop Korir held a memorial service in Burnt Forest at Sister Ali’s convent in Uasin Gishu County to commemorate her life.

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