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French Sister Emmanuelle dead at age 99

Oct. 25, 2008 at 2:44 PM

PARIS, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Sister Emmanuelle -- a nun revered in France for her work with the poor -- has died at the age of 99, members of her Roman Catholic order say.

Sister Emmanuelle was praised by the Vatican for a life's work similar to that of Mother Teresa, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The nun, who died Monday in Callian, for years lived among the garbage scavengers in Cairo, the Times reported, noting she favored allowing priests to marry and the use of contraceptives.

Le Journal du Dimanche last year named her France's fourth most popular person behind former tennis player Yannick Noah, soccer star Zinedine Zidane and actress Mimie Mathy.

Sister Emmanuelle, whose autobiography "Confessions of a Nun" is to be released soon, was born Madeleine Cinquin in Brussels. She earned a degree in philosophy at the Sorbonne and said she knew at an early age she would become a nun.

The Sister Emmanuelle Association, which she founded in 1980, today has missions in Brazil, Burkina Faso, Haiti, the Philippines, Senegal and Sudan.

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