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State Funeral Held For ‘Pakistan’s Mother Teresa’


The flags of Vatican City (left) and Pakistan fly at half mast ahead of the funeral ceremony of the German-born nun Ruth Pfau, at the premises of the St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi on August 18.

Mourners attended a state funeral for Ruth Pfau, a German-born nun who earned international acclaim as “Pakistan’s Mother Teresa” after devoting her life to helping Pakistan eradicate leprosy.

Pfau, 87, died on August 10 at a hospital affiliated with her Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center in the southern city of Karachi.

State-run television broadcast live footage of her casket being carried by a military guard at the city’s St. Patrick Cathedral. She was to be buried at a nearby cemetery later in the day.

Pakistani politicians, military officials, members of civil society, and hundreds of supporters paid tribute to her at the service.

Pfau arrived in Pakistan in 1960 and devoted the rest of her life to treating leprosy throughout the country.

She established 157 centers to treat people infected with leprosy, later expanding her efforts to aid tuberculosis patients.

State funerals in Pakistan generally are held for soldiers killed in war or for government leaders.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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