(SNN) - The world's smallest nun, Sister Mary Microscopico, was laid to rest today after her tragic death last weekend. Born a Streptococcus bacterium in an Argentinian laboratory, Sister Mary grew up an orphan. Details from this period are scant, however, since the orphan concerned has continually declined to give interviews.
Facing poverty, prejudice, and antibiotics, the young Streptococcus eventually settled in a Petri dish populated by a colony of similar microorganisms. Nevertheless, she soon yearned for a different culture and feeling the need to move on, she hid in a shopping bag and crossed the Brazilian border in a carrier. The turning point in her life came when she was taken in by nuns at a convent in São Paolo. There, she quickly progressed through the ranks due to her steely determination and short incubation period.
In a recent article published in the microbiology section of the Vatican City Herald, she was described as having worked with the poor and needy in some of the worst slums in Brazil, going from person to person, spreading the gospel and occasionally impetigo. The people there had nothing until Sister Mary arrived and her impact on the local community is still remembered by many. Santiago Cruz was just ten years old when he first came into contact with her. He told Sage News, "She was unbelievably small but once she got under your skin, inside of you, she made a big impression." Controversy blighted her later life, however, when allegations emerged that she had forged ties with terrorist cells. She was later exonerated after covert images taken by electron microscope were scrutinised by security experts.
Sister Mary had been due to have an audience with His Holiness the Pope next month,but disaster struck on Saturday, when she was accidently pasteurised while making a cup of coffee. Head of her order, Mother Luisa, described Sister Mary as a good listener with an infectious personality that grew on you as time went by. And in a speech this evening, the Pontiff assured worshippers that her legacy would live on throughout South America, thanks to the wealth of sore throats she had left behind.
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