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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Homeless “Peace Pilgrim”

An American homeless woman, who died in 1981, is now simply known as “Peace Pilgrim.” She walked alone and penniless "as a prayer" more than 25,000 miles across America to inspire others to pray and work for peace. Her message was simple -"This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."

Her 28-year pilgrimage started in 1953. She would not tell you her real name this silver-haired lady with penetrating blue eyes "Peace Pilgrim" is the only name she wished to carry. And she would not tell you the years that she had spent in this world although a friend said she was probably around 80 when she died in a car accident in Indiana in 1981 on her way to a speaking engagement. After walking 25,000 miles, which took her until 1964, she stopped counting the miles.

Although she mostly slept under the stars without a sleeping bag she never had another headache or pain or cold once she started her pilgrimage. Carrying in her tunic pockets her only worldly possessions: a comb, a folding toothbrush, a ball point pen and her current mail. She vowed, "I shall remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." She talked with people on dusty roads and city streets, in churches, colleges, to civic groups, on TV and radio discussing peace within and without. Once, while sleeping the night on a bench in New York’s Grand Central Station, she heard a choir of heavenly angels with the sweetest songs consoling and inspiring her and then a locution from the Lord, who softly whispered in her ear, “You are my beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased.”
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