On the path to saint­hood

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

Suzanne Au­bert (1835-1926) led a life of ser­vice and com­pas­sion.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing in New Zealand from France in 1860, she spent time in Auck­land, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui and Welling­ton.

She started a home for or­phans and the un­der-priv­i­leged in Jerusalem, on the Whanganui River, and founded the Daugh­ters of Our Lady of Com­pas­sion and two hos­pi­tals in Welling­ton.

Au­bert de­voted her life to help­ing oth­ers, car­ing for the sick and ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren, and wrote books in Maori, English and French.

She skil­fully com­bined Maori medicine with Euro­pean sci­ence and through­out her life was un­bowed by lack of re­sources or in the face of op­po­si­tion.

‘‘What she [Au­bert] taught and what she be­lieved in is still rel­e­vant to­day.’’

Fr Mau­rice Car­mody, who is among those work­ing to­wards Au­bert’s saint­hood, said her fu­neral, in Welling­ton in 1926, was a tes­ta­ment to the re­spect she had earned.

‘‘Her fu­neral stopped Par­lia­ment and thou­sands of peo­ple came to [the Home of Com­pas­sion in Is­land Bay] to hon­our her,’’ he said.

‘‘What she taught and what she be­lieved in is still rel­e­vant to­day. She was the most ex­tra­or­di­nary per­son.’’

Au­bert was buried in Karori Ceme­tery and 25 years later her re­mains were trans­ferred to the Home of Com­pas­sion.

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