Sister Rose Gertrude (Amy C. Fowler) To Die For The Lepers

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Re: Sister Rose Gertrude (Amy C. Fowler) To Die For The Lepe

Postby admin » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:33 am

Among the Lepers
by a Cincinnati Physician (Dr. Leonard Freeman)
London Tablet
May 6, 1893.



Dr. Leonard Freeman, a prominent physician of Cincinnati, says The Catholic Telegraph, of Cincinnati, O., has just returned from a town on the Sandwich Islands, where, after much trouble, he secured the privilege of visiting the celebrated leper colony on the island of Molokai. Of the island he says that it contains about 5,000 acres. It is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, and guarded on the fourth by a tremendous precipice, which cuts it off from the rest of the world like a gloomy wall. There are about 1,100 lepers in the colony, and it is true of this spot, if it is of any other, that 'ye who enter here leave hope behind.' Even the ground itself looks as if it had leprosy, with its volcanic debris sticking through the thin soil.

We went at once to the little Methodist church, made of boards and painted white, where the Rev. Mr. Emerson whom I had met on the steamer, was to deliver a sermon. The church was as plain as a church could be, with wooden benches and some pitifully small panes of stained glass inserted above the windows, in order to impart a religious air to at least a portion of the light which entered. Just outside the open door I could see the white surf pounding against the black rocks with a roar that sometimes threatened to drown the voice of the preacher.

This was one of the strangest congregations of the whole world -- some without fingers, some with their stumps of hands and feet done up in rags, some with their faces deformed by dozens of fleshy nodules as large as English walnuts, until they looked like caricatures of humanity, and others with their large and nodular ears hanging down on their shoulders like mutton chops. One man, the native preacher, had a nose like a warty cucumber; another was covered with ulcers. There was not one who did not in some way show the stamp of the loathsome malady.

They were all dark-skinned natives, except one white man, who sat in a front seat, the picture of hopeless dejection. Mr. Emerson spoke earnestly in the Kanaka language, and his audience listened intently. After he had finished he requested me to address the congregation, and I preached my first and perhaps last sermon. One of the lepers, with an obvious paucity of fingers, arose and thanked me. Among other things, he said he hoped I would live long and "never have leprosy," as though leprosy to him involved every evil in the world, and if I escaped it I could not fail to be happy.

After the sermon we got some horses and rode about the settlements. The lepers live in white frame houses about the size of an ordinary room, and divided into several apartments. They do not require much furniture because they prefer squatting on a floor to sitting in a chair. They have horses, cats, dogs, and other domestic animals, and some of them cultivate small gardens. When a Kanaka gets leprosy he regards it as a dispensation of Providence, buries his hopes and ambitions and goes to Molokai to die. To be sure the disease is only feebly contagious, but contagious it is, and the slovenly, unhealthy lives led by man natives are conducive to its spread. Huddled together in small damp huts, existing on insufficient and improper food, eating with their dirty fingers from a single dism, smoking the same pipe, it is no wonder that the Huroniians have been decimated by leprosy and afflicted with other terrible diseases. One may live with lepers for many years, however, without contracting leprosy. It is said that a native woman of Honolulu sent three husbands to Molokai with the disease before she developed it herself. There are several other churches in the colony beside the Methodist, including a Catholic church and a Mormon church; but the Catholics seem to be doing most of the real work -- the others take it out largely in talk. There are nine Sisters of Charity and two Fathers, all from Syracuse, New York. The buildings in which they live are neat and clean and are surrounded by gardens and banana trees. These noble women are sacrificing their lives to a great and loving work under the most discouraging circumstances. How sweet, good and gentle they were to the lepers! Some have been in the colony five or six years without having once left it. But Sisters of Charity are sometimes peculiar, like the rest of us. Sister Rose Gertrude was one of the peculiar kind. It was heralded with a flourish of trumpets that she had decided to consecrate her life to the lepers of Molokai. Donations poured in freely, including considerable money and a piano. When Sister Rose Gertrude reached Honolulu she pocketed the money, sold the piano, married a doctor, and returned to the United States as rapidly as possible without having, it is said, so much as seen a leper. (We will here correct the writer. Miss Amy C. Fowler, who assumed the name of Sister Rose Gertrude, was never either a Sister of Charity or a professed nun of any order.)

I met on the island a gentleman named Dutton, who had been an officer in the United States Army, and lived for a time in Cincinnati. He was formerly wealthy and stood high in the social world. Five or six years ago he was converted to the Catholic Faith, disposed of his fortune, gave up his social position and went to Molokai to devote the remainder of his life to the lepers. I found him a good-looking and extremely intelligent man, about 45 years of age, with black hair and beard and a pleasing address. He lived in a one-storied, three roomed cottage, surrounded by a high stone wall. The little rooms contained many religious emblems, pictures of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and were very neat and clean for a bachelor's apartments. A century plant grew in the yard, emblematical, perhaps, of the slow monotonous life around it.

Every morning this good Samaritan puts on an old blue blouse and a pair of overalls and goes down to what he calls his "workshop," a small frame house with a veranda, around which are arranged a number of benches and some dishpans, filled with warm water. Miserable, decrepit lepers come hobbling in until the benches are filled and standing room is at a premium. Mr. Dutton, with true religious courage and sympathy, bathes the leprotic sores in the pans of water, and applies fresh salve and bandages. A Cincinnati lady has presented him with a large music box, and while he is attending to these poor people with great ulcers on the soles of their feet, and without toes, or even without much of any feet at all, this music box plays waltzes by strains -- a genuine piece of sarcasm. Mr. Dutton is nobly carrying out the work inaugurated by Father Damien, who lived some 16 years among the lepers, and finally died a martyr to the disease the horror of which he had endeavoured so long to mitigate.

I remained in the leper colony two nights and nearly two days, and was just as glad to get away from the place as I was to get into it. I never before realized how dreary a landscape could be in spite of beautiful scenery and perfect climate if suffering humanity formed the background. Although, strictly speaking, the people do not suffer much, a characteristic of the disease is the early destruction of sensation, so that a finger, or even a leg, might be hacked off without much discomfort. They never commit suicide. It would be easy to climb the precipice that guards their prison and jump off, but they do not do it. The truth is, they seem comparatively resigned and happy. There are so many of them that they do not lack society, and the worst cases appear to mingle freely with those in the earlier stages. They have meat, bread, pie, plenty of clothes and bedding, churches, a reading room, and good enough homes. They have organized a band of musicians among them, and some are quite good performers. The Catholics have erected several plain pavilions, like hospital wards, with kitchen and diningroom attached. The Sisters try to induce the leper girls to occupy these quarters, designed for their comfort, and they are comfortable. But as a usual thing, the girls would rather enjoy the perfect freedom of the separate private cottages than to be under the rules and restriction of the Church. The Sisters were just opening some Christmas boxes, filled with large coloured rubber balls, dolls, and presents of various kinds; and I thought to myself, if the people in the great outside world knew how much things were needed in cheerless Molokai, there would be not only a few pitiful little boxes to open, but whole steamer loads of them.

It was with a feeling of relief that I took my mackintosh under my arm, bade farewell to the kind-hearted doctor and climbed the winding trail up the hill. I stood on the top and took a last view of the leper colony. There was the same little tongue of land far below, green with moist grass, and fringed with lines of snowy breakers, rolling against black, volcanic rocks. There was the same multitude of cottages, shining while in the sunlight; the same blue sky and fleecy clouds. But the beauty of the spot, its watering place appearance was gone. I knew what a dreary, festering ulcer of a hole it really was; and I felt a deep love and sympathy for the Sisters of Charity and the Fathers, and for Mr. Dutton and the good doctor, who were devoting their lives and energies to the lepers, in order that their living deaths might be a little less hard to bear.

Considering the difficulties of the question, the prejudices of the nations, and the vacillatory character of the Government, one must admit that Hawaii has done well by her lepers, and we must give her credit for thoughtfulness and humanity.
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Re: Sister Rose Gertrude (Amy C. Fowler) To Die For The Lepe

Postby admin » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:17 am

Bertha Lutz
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/2/18



Bertha Maria Júlia Lutz
Bertha Lutz in 1925
Born August 2, 1894
São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Died September 16, 1976 (aged 82)
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Other names Lutz Berta
Occupation Brazilian scientist

Bertha Maria Júlia Lutz (August 2, 1894 in São Paulo – September 16, 1976 in Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian zoologist, politician, and diplomat. Lutz became a leading figure in both the Pan American feminist movement and human rights movement.[1]


Early life and education

Bertha Lutz was born in São Paulo. Her father, Adolfo Lutz (1855–1940), was a pioneering physician and epidemiologist of Swiss origin, and her mother, Amy Fowler, was a British nurse. Bertha Lutz studied natural sciences, biology and zoology at the University of Paris - Sorbonne, graduating in 1918. Soon after obtaining her degree, she returned to Brazil.[2][3]

Return to Brazil and the fight for women’s suffrage

In 1919, one year after returning to Brazil, Lutz founded the League for Intellectual Emancipation of Women and was appointed to represent the Brazilian government in the Female International Council of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Lutz later created the Brazilian Federation for Women’s Progress in 1922, a political group which advocated for Brazilian women’s rights, most importantly their right to vote, around the world. Lutz served as a delegate to the Pan-American Conference of Women in Baltimore, Maryland, US that same year, and would continue to attend women’s rights conferences in the years to come.[4] In 1925, she was elected president of the Inter-American Union of Women.[5] Lutz’s involvement in the fight for women’s suffrage made her the leading figurehead of women’s rights until the end of 1931, when Brazilian women finally gained the right to vote.

Leading the inter-American feminist campaign

Lutz’s advocacy for the rights of women did not end with the right to vote, and she continued to play a prominent role in the feminist campaign. In 1933, after obtaining her law degree from Rio de Janeiro Law School, Lutz participated and introduced several proposals for gender equity in the [Inter-American Conference] of Montevideo, Uruguay. Most notable of these proposals was her call for the refocusing of the Inter-American Commission of Women on the issue of gender equality in the workplace.[6] In 1935, Lutz decided to run for Congress and came in second behind Cándido Pessoa, and replaced him when he died a year later, making Lutz one of the few Brazilian Congresswomen of the time. The first initiative that Lutz presented while in Congress was the creation of the “Statue of women”, a committee with the intended purpose of analyzing every Brazilian law and statute to ensure none violated the rights of women.[7]

Lutz, however, was unable to push forward her measures when Getúlio Vargas was reinstated as dictator in 1937, which led to a suspension of parliamentary and, consequently, a suspension her project.[8] Lutz nonetheless continued her diplomatic career. She was one of the four women to sign the United Nations Charter at the Inter-American Conference of Women held in San Francisco in 1945 and served as vice president of the Inter-American Commission of Women from 1953 to 1959.[9]

Later years

In 1964, Lutz headed the Brazilian delegation at the 14th Inter-American Commission in Montevideo.[10] Additionally, at the 15th annual meeting of the Inter-American Commission of Women held in 1970, she proposed to hold a seminar dedicated to addressing the specific problems faced by indigenous women. Although she was a little over seventy during this stage of her life, Lutz continued to attend conferences and push for the expansion of women’s rights, including the International Women's Year conference in Mexico City in 1975.[11] She died in 1976 at the age of 82.[8]

Scientific career

After returning to Brazil in 1918, Lutz dedicated herself to the study of amphibians, especially poison dart frogs and frogs of the family Hylidae.[12] In 1919, she was hired by the Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro. She later became a naturalist at the Section of Botany. Throughout her lifetime, Lutz would publish numerous scientific studies and publications, most notably “Observations on the life history of the Brazilian Frog” (1943), “A notable frog chorus in Brazil” (1946), and “New frogs from Itatiaia mountain” (1952).[13] In 1958, she described what is now known as Lutz's rapids frog (Paratelmatobius lutzii Lutz and Carvalho, 1958), which is named in honor of her father.[14]

Bertha Lutz is honored in the names of two species of Brazilian lizards: Liolaemus lutzae and Bogertia lutzae,[14] as well as three species of frogs: Megaelosia lutzae,[15] Dendropsophus berthalutzae, and Scinax berthae.[16]

Lutz and political conferences

Female International Council of the International Labor Organization (ILO): 1919

During this conference, Lutz advocated for equality among the sexes and the specific mention of women in the clauses that protect against injustices and abuse.[17]

Pan American Women’s Congress Conference in Baltimore: 1922

At this conference, Lutz advocated for the equality of rights and opportunity of women, with a special focus on political inclusion.[9]

Inter-American Conference of Montevideo: 1933

Lutz came prepared to this conference with a study of the legal status of women in the Americas and advocated that the nationality of married women should not be contingent on that of their husbands. She also proposed an Equals Rights treaty and pushed the Inter-American Commission of Women to refocus and recommit to analyzing working conditions of women in the Americas.[18]

San Francisco UN conference: 1945

Along with three other women, Lutz fought for the inclusion of the word “women” in the preamble to the United Nations Charter. The final clause read: " in fundamental human rights, in the dignity of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small"[19]

She further proposed the creation of a special commission of Women whose purpose it would be to analyze the "legal status of Women" around the world in order to better understand the inequalities they face and be better prepared to combat them. She is credited with being the most prominent and tenacious advocate for the inclusion of women's rights in the charter, and without her work the United Nations would likely not have a mandate to protect women's rights.[20]

Further reading

• Hahner, June E. Emancipating the Female Sex: The Struggle for Women's Rights in Brazil, 1850-1940. (1990)


1. June E. Hahner, "Bertha Maria Julia Lutz" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 3, pp. 474-75. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1996.
2. "Vida Pessoal". Museo Virtual de Berta Lutz. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
3. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. p. 129.
4. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. pp. 31–33.
5. Pernet, Corinne. "Chilean Feminists, the international Women's Movement, and Suffrage, 915-1950". Pacific Historical Review. 69. JSTOR 10.2307/3641229.
6. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. p. 73.
7. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. p. 75.
8. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. p. 132.
9. Miller, Francesca. "Women, Culture, and Politics in Latin America". UC Press E-books Collection. University of California Press.
10. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. p. 97.
11. Hahner, "Lutz", p. 475.
12. Lutz, Bertha. Brazilian Species of "Hyla". 1973. University of Texas Press. Austin. 260 pp. ISBN 978-0292707047.
13. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. p. 133.
14. Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Lutz, A." and "Lutz, B. M. J.", p. 163).
15. Bo Beolens; Michael Watkins; Michael Grayson (22 April 2013). The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians. Pelagic Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-907807-44-2.
16. Bo Beolens; Michael Watkins; Michael Grayson (22 April 2013). The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians. Pelagic Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-907807-44-2.
17. Lôbo, Yolanda Lima (2010). Bertha Lutz. Recife, PE: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana. p. 32.
18. Marques, Teresa Cristina. "Between the Equalitarism and Women's Rights Reformation: Bertha Lutz at Montevideo Interamerican Conference, 1933". Revista Estudos Feministas. 21 (3).
19. Skard, Torild. "Getting Our History Right: How Were the Equal Rights of Women and Men Included in the Charter of the United Nations?". Forum for Development Studies. 35 (1): 37–60.
20. "Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at SOAS University of London".
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Re: Sister Rose Gertrude (Amy C. Fowler) To Die For The Lepe

Postby admin » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:28 am

The Last Song of the Swan
by Helena P. Blavatsky
from The Esoteric Papers of Madame Blavatsky [EXCERPT]
by H. P. Blavatsky

Another fatal accident, arising from the system of overhead electric lighting wires, is reported today from Newburgh, New York State. It appears that a horse while being driven along touched an iron awning-post with his nose, and fell down as if dead. A man, who rushed to assist in raising the animal, touched the horse's head-stall and immediately dropped dead, and another man who attempted to lift the first, received a terrible shock. The cause of the accident seems to have been that an electric wire had become slack and was lying upon an iron rod extending from the awning-post to a building, and that the full force of the current was passing down the post into the ground. The insulating material of the wire had become thoroughly saturated with rain. (Morning Post, Jan. 21.)

This is a cheerful prospect, and looks indeed as if it were one of the "last songs of the Swan" of practical civilization. But, there is balm in Gilead--even at this eleventh hour of our jaw-breaking and truth-kicking century. Fearless clergymen summon up courage and dare to express publicly their actual feelings, with thorough contempt for "the utter humbug of the cheap 'religious talk' which obtains in the present day."[2] They are daily mustering new forces; and hitherto rapidly conservative daily papers fear not to allow their correspondents, when occasion requires, to fly into the venerable faces of Cant, and Mrs. Grundy. It is true that the subject which brought out the wholesome though unwelcome truth, in the Morning Post, was worthy of such an exception. A correspondent, Mr. W. M. Hardinge, speaking of Sister Rose Gertrude, who has just sailed for the Leper Island of Molokai suggests that--"a portrait of this young lady should somehow be added to one of our national galleries" and adds:

Mr. Edward Clifford would surely be the fitting artist. I, for one, would willingly contribute to the permanent recording, by some adequate painter, of whatever manner of face it may be that shrines so saintly a soul. Such a subject--too rare, alas, in England--should be more fruitful than precept. [3]

Amen. Of precepts and tall talk in fashionable churches people have more than they bargain for; but of really practical Christ-like work in daily life--except when it leads to the laudation and mention of names of the would-be philanthropists in public papers--we see nil. Moreover, such a subject as the voluntary Calvary chosen by Sister Rose Gertrude is "too rare" indeed, anywhere, without speaking of England. The young heroine, like her noble predecessor, Father Damien,4 is a true Theosophist in daily life and practice--the latter the greatest ideal of every genuine follower of the Wisdom-religion. Before such work, of practical Theosophy, religion and dogma, theological and scholastic differences, nay even esoteric knowledge itself are but secondary accessories, accidental details. All these must give precedence to and disappear before Altruism (real Buddha- and Christ-like altruism, of course, not the theoretical twaddle of Positivists) as the flickering tongues of gas light in street lamps pale and vanish before the rising sun. Sister Rose Gertrude is not only a great and saintly heroine, but also a spiritual mystery, an EGO not to be fathomed on merely intellectual or even psychic lines. Very true, we hear of whole nunneries having volunteered for the same work at Molokai, and we readily believe it, though this statement is made more for the glorification of Rome than for Christ and His work. But, even if true, the offer is no parallel. We have known nuns who were ready to walk across a prairie on fire to escape convent life. One of them confessed in an agony of despair that death was sweet and even the prospect of physical tortures in hell was preferable to life in a convent and its moral tortures. To such, the prospect of buying a few years of freedom and fresh air at the price of dying from leprosy is hardly a sacrifice but a choice of the lesser of two evils. But the case of Sister Rose Gertrude is quite different. She gave up a life of personal freedom, a quiet home and loving family, all that is dear and near to a young girl, to perform unostentatiously a work of the greatest heroism, a most ungrateful task, by which she cannot even save from death and suffering her fellow men, but only soothe and alleviate their moral and physical tortures. She sought no notoriety and shrank from the admiration or even the help of the public. She simply did the bidding of her MASTER--to the very letter. She prepared to go unknown and unrewarded in this life to an almost certain death, preceded by years of incessant physical torture from the most loathsome of all diseases. And she did it, not as the Scribes and Pharisees who perform their prescribed duties in the open streets and public Synagogues, but verily as the Master had commanded: alone, in the secluded closet of her inner life and face to face only with "her Father in secret," trying to conceal the grandest and noblest of all human acts, as another tries to hide a crime.

They used to go out riding and driving together, also taking long excursions into the surrounding country with a photographic camera, and, on their return, going into the "dark room" together to develop the negatives. These facts became very obvious not only to the inmates of the hospital, but to the whole community. Early in the unpleasantness the priests in the Roman Catholic Mission, in answer to inquiries, declined to acknowledge Sister Rose as a genuine member of any known Sisterhood, saying at the same time that conduct like hers would not be tolerated in any Catholic country in the world.

-- Sister Rose Gertrude Seeks Solace for her Sorrows in Matrimony, by Otago Daily Times

Therefore, we are right in saying that--in this our century at all events--Sister Rose Gertrude is, as was Father Damien before her--a spiritual mystery. She is the rare manifestation of a "Higher Ego," free from the trammels of all the elements of its Lower one; influenced by these elements only so far as the errors of her terrestrial sense-perceptions--with regard to religious form--seem to bear a true witness to that which is still human in her Personality--namely, her reasoning powers. Thence the ceaseless and untiring self-sacrifice of such natures to what appears religious duty, but which in sober truth is the very essence and esse of the dormant Individuality--"divine compassion," which is "no attribute" but verily "the law of laws, eternal Harmony, Alaya's SELF." [5] It is this compassion, crystallized in our very being, that whispers night and day to such as Father Damien and Sister Rose Gertrude -- "Can there be bliss when there are men who suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the others cry?" Yet, "Personality" -- having been blinded by training and religious education to the real presence and nature of the HIGHER SELF -- recognizes not its voice, but confusing it in its helpless ignorance with the external and extraneous Form, which it was taught to regard as a divine Reality -- it sends heavenward and outside instead of addressing them inwardly, thoughts and prayers, the realization of which is in its SELF.
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