Evading the Nazis

Recently, Sr. Anne Green, l.s.p., died at age 100 in a Little Sisters of the Poor home in Scotland. As remarkable as as her age were her adventures as a Little Sister during World War II. Sr. Anne was living in the Little Sisters’ Motherhouse (all Little Sisters spend some time in France as part of their formation) at La Tour St. Joseph in Brittany, France,  when the Germans took over the area. Because Sr. Anne was a British citizen, she was forced to go into hiding for 6 years at a Little Sisters’ home near Belgium. However, when the Germans occupied that town, “the mayor phoned the Reverend Mother and warned her that if there were any British citizens there, she should send them away,” said Sister Anne. “There were four of us, including an Australian, and she told the mayor that there was nowhere for us to go. He said he would burn our registration papers and that we should remain in hiding.”

The one time she left the confines of the convent, she and her companion encountered a German patrol and Sister was forced to take refuge in a pile of potatoes loaded onto a cart. She was undetected and never left the convent again until the Allies arrived.

When American tanks came into the town, Sister stopped a convoy and asked the commander if he could find her brother Tom who was in the army. He said to her, “Sister, there are just a couple of million soldiers back there, but I’ll see what I can do.” Two days later, said Sister Anne, “they found him and brought him to see me. I will never forget seeing him walking in. It was absolutely wonderful.” I’m sure the American commander was amazed and happy too.

Sister Anne returned home to Great Britain in 1949 and served out her long life among the poor and aged in the United Kingdom. The Little Sisters have 4 homes in Scotland, 4 in Ireland, 9 in England and even one on the Isle of Jersey. May God grant repose to her soul and may the Little Sisters of the Poor continue to care for God’s venerable aged ones around the world.

“She was exemplary,” said Mother Aimee. “Her continual smile and serenity were testimonies to her happiness in religious life.”

See the full story in the The Scotsman.

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