Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 29 November |
Saint of the Day: Our Lady of Beauraing
Aleteia logo
Inspiring Stories
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Sister Carol: A much-needed smile in Aleppo

WEB3-Sister_Carolin_Tahhan_Fachakh_Syria-Exchanges Photos-CC

Exchanges Photos | CC

Daniel Esparza - published on 04/19/17

The Salesian nun runs a school for thousands of students. Ninety percent of them are Muslims

“Smiling while being bombed takes courage,” said Sister Carol Tahhan Fachakh, a Salesian nun born in Aleppo 46 years ago, to L’Osservatore Romano. In a meeting with Pope Francis in Rome, Sister Carol — the daughter of an Armenian woman who fled her country to keep her family from being slaughtered — explained both her mission and her “love for Syria” to the Pontiff: she’s a chemist who discovered her vocation while helping disabled children in a missionary experience (led by the Canadian Catholic philosopher and theologian Jean Vanier) among refugees in Lebanon, in the Bekaa Valley. Years later, she became the founder of a school for thousands of students, 90 percent Muslim.

In their school, Sister Carol explains, “we welcome everyone with open arms, like a big family, the Salesian style, trying to overcome, together, the fear caused by missiles and bombs.”

As reported in L’Osservatore Romano, Sister Carol has just received the International Women of Courage Award at the Department of State in Washington, from the hands of U.S. First Lady Melania Trump. Sister Carol joined 12 other “brave women who carry out their mission in dangerous areas, showing courage, strength and leadership while promoting peace, justice, human rights and the dignity of women, often at great personal risk.”

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.