Nun dies a year after dream is fulfilled

2016-01-08 13:51
Sister Cosma Graf plays with a lion cub during a visit to the Lion Park last year, when her wish to see an elephant was fulfilled.

Sister Cosma Graf plays with a lion cub during a visit to the Lion Park last year, when her wish to see an elephant was fulfilled. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - A nun whose lifelong dream to see an elephant came true in her 100th year, has died.

Sister Cosma Graf, who had served the church in South Africa for over 80 years, died at the age of 101 at Villa Assumpta, where she had been living, on Wednesday.

During an interview with The Witness about her life last year, Sister Cosma expressed a wish to see an elephant as she had lived in South Africa for 81 years, but had never laid eyes on one. Soon after her interview was published, The Witness teamed up with Lion Park owner Brian Boswell to make the centenarian’s wish come true. She was picked up at her home at Villa Assumpta and driven to the Lion Park by Boswell, where her dream was realised.

In addition to seeing elephants at close range, the delighted nun also played with two fluffy lion cubs who were just two weeks old.

Born in Germany in the early 1900s, Graf professed chastity, poverty and obedience in Neustadtam Main, Germany, at the age of 20, and left her family of 11 to teach at the first school in Manzini, Swaziland.

Graf walked the hills of Swaziland, promoting education for girls there. She taught children to make rosaries out of berries and many subsequently paid their school fees by making and selling the rosaries.

Graf later moved to South Africa and began training young sisters at the congregation at Oakford Priory, Verulam, and said she learnt to speak Zulu “like a Zulu”.

A requiem mass for the Sister will be held at Villa Siena (same entrance as Villa Assumpta) at 11 am on Wednesday next week.

— Witness Reporter.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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