Hundreds of prostitutes have flocked to a Kenyan town ahead of the beatification ceremony of an Italian nun – so they can cash in on sex-starved Christians.
The event, which marks a key step towards the sainthood of missionary Irene Stefani, is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors to Nyeri, which is around 90 miles north of Nairobi.
Speaking to Kenya’s The Star newspaper, one woman said: “Who doesn’t need body gratification? By the way, even Christians need sex.”
“It’s our turn to eat,’ she said, using a popular Kenyan idiom meaning to make money. “We are waiting for those international visitors.”
The newspaper said it had carried out a ‘spot check’ and found that “hotels are almost fully booked by the women” ahead of next Saturday’s ceremony.
“The sex workers have already booked hotels for two weeks in advance,” The Star reported, saying the women had flocked from across the country to attend pre-beatification evening events.
Senior local government official John Marete admitted the town was already full of ‘new faces’, while a Catholic priest in the town urged people ‘not to be diverted by earthly things.’
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s entrance into Heaven allows individuals to pray in his or her name.
What is beatification?
Beatification (from beatus, Latin for ‘blessed’ and facere, ‘to make’) is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name.
Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process.
A person who is beatified is in English given the title ‘Blessed’.
Irene Stefani, who died in Kenya of the plague in 1930, was an Italian member of the Consolata Missionary Sisters.
She was a trained nurse and helped the wounded in Kenya and Tanzania during the First World War.
She was much loved by the people of the Nyeri district and her actions earned her the nickname ‘Nyaatha’, which literally translates as ‘a person of mercy’.
On 12 June 2014, Pope Francis approved a decree that recognized a miracle attributed to Stefani’s intercession which cleared the way for her beatification.
Mathari Central Chapel, which host the relics of the late nun, has become a major tourist attraction, with hundreds of people visiting it to view the sarcophagus and hold prayers by the tomb.
Credit: Daily Mail Online