Author(s): Thérèse Pickard
This extraordinary but true story of Sister Teresa Grigolini, missionary in the Sudan from 1878, is both an uplifting heroic one and a dark and terrible one. Captured by the Islamist Mahdists in 1882, this Nun and others of her community became slaves, constantly abused and threatened with death, over what became interminable years. Some of them died in these appalling conditions, but no threat could persuade them to give up their faith as was demanded constantly of them.
The personal and tragic life events of Teresa Grigolini occur at the time of the rise of the Mahdists against the long and oppressive rule of the Sudan by Egypt, supported by English colonial interests, the 1885 fall of Khartoum, and eventually the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, the decisive event in the retaking of Khartoum and the Sudan by Horatio Kitchener’s Anglo-Egyptian army. In 1898 the remaining few of the missionary captives were freed after sixteen years in captivity, but life for Sister Teresa had changed forever.
Her story has been pieced together from her own and other letters. These documents enchant, edify, shock and sadden, but ultimately leave the reader with spirits raised for the love, strength and commitment of a remarkable woman.