After Satoko Kitahara celebrated her first Christmas in Ants’ Town, she wrote to a close acquaintance, Shizue who was expecting her first child. Satoko knew she would stay single and not experience giving birth, and thus promised Shizue to pray for a safe delivery. But, she also wrote of “her own children”, saying, “It has become a real joy spending time with these little disadvantaged ones. My heart swells with special joy for your child because I too have come to know the joys of motherhood — thanks to my children in Ants Town. By devoting her life to the children Satoko became known as Ari no Machi no Maria – Mary of Ants’ Town.
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Satoko took the baptismal name of Elizabeth, a heroic and courageous queen of Hungary who burned herself out in 1231 by looking after destitute lepers and establishing a hospital for the poor. When Satoko explained to her bemused parents the Un-Japanese custom of choosing a baptismal name, her father, an economics professor, quipped,: “Were she my pupil I would have to fail her on the way she wasted her family’s money!”