05/14/2021, 17.23
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Sister Ann Rose Nu Twang, on her knees to ‘save my people’

Catholic nun who pleaded with soldiers not to shoot protesters in Myanmar took part in an online press conference. Next Sunday, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass for her country and Italy’s Myanmar community. A book about Sister Ann Rose's story has just been published.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – An unarmed nun, Sister Ann Rose Nu Twang, knelt before soldiers in Myitkyina (Kachin State), asking them not to shoot at protesters. The image of the Myanmar nun soon went viral around the world.

Speaking about her experience, Sister Ann Rose said: “When I knelt in front of the soldiers, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit. God used me to save my people. With my action, I sought to defend the truth, to save my people and justice.”

Yesterday, the nun spoke from Myitkyina, capital of Kachin state, via weblink to Italian and foreign journalists gathered in the Marconi Hall of Vatican Radio in Rome, only a few days before Pope Francis celebrates a Mass next Sunday in St Peter's Basilica for Myanmar Catholics present in Italy.

As part of this, AsiaNews’s editor-in-chief, Fr Bernardo Cervellera, was invited by Italy’s national public broadcaster, RAI, to comment on the celebration.

In addition to Sister Ann Rose, two priests were present at the press conference: Jesuit Fr Joseph Buan Sing and Fr Peter Thein Lwin, who has exercised his ministry at the Santa Maria a Setteville parish near Rome. Gerolamo Fazzini, co-author of a book[*] about on Sister Ann Rose also spoke at the event.

“The power of prayer helped me a lot to come to the decision to kneel before the soldiers,” Sister Ann Rose explained. “The only thing I was interested in was saving the people and the young.”

Afterwards, “So many nuns and religious complimented me on my action and told me that they were proud of me,” she added. At the same time, “Someone warned me, to be careful and not put myself in danger.”

However, “One thing is certain: Christians are now respected a lot in Myanmar. While religions were divided before, there is now great unity for justice and democracy. Barriers have fallen.”

In recent months in Myanmar, many lay Catholics, nuns and priests have marched in protests alongside Buddhist monks and ordinary people. This climate of unity was fostered by Pope Francis' trip to Myanmar in 2017.

Speaking about Pope Francis, Sister Ann Rose is “grateful for his words and the decision to celebrate a Mass for the Myanmar community in Rome. If I could talk to him, I would ask him to talk to the heads of state to end the situation we have gone through; over the past three months, 800 people have been killed. His word can be heard by many leaders.”

Sister Ann Rose's final appeal is: “Do not forget Myanmar, pray for us and for our battle for democracy.”

[*] «Uccidete me, non la gente». La suora coraggio del Myanmar racconta la sua storia (“Kill me, not the people” Myanmar’s brave nun tells her story), recently published by EMI (Editrice missionaria italiana).

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