Medal of Extremadura to Sister Cristina Arana Astigarra

[Province Spain-South] Sister Cristina Arana Astigarraga is one of the seven outstanding people honoured with Extremadura Medal for her dedicated life to vulnerable people. Other Laureates were Mr Angel Sastre Canelas, Don Benito journalist; Mme. Maria Victoria Gil Alvarez, researcher; Extremadura Federation of Music Bands; Manantial Folk Group; the late painter Mr Jaime de Jaraiz and Mr Gonzalo Martín Dominguez, head of Extremadura House in Seville.

Sister Cristina comes from Vergara (Guipuzcoa). She is 94 years old. In 1975 she arrived in Badajoz from Caceres where she worked in the community of the Daughters of Charity at the Red Cross Hospital.

In Badajoz she worked in the Provincial Hospital and for 30 years with inmates since she was a member of the Penitentiary Pastoral Group.

Many people relate her also with Father’s Rafael Chapel where she was  dedicated to many labours: opening its doors, welcoming people and taking care of it.

For many years her work also extended to the Daughters of Charity social dining room “Virgen de la Acogida,” Martín Cansado street, Badajoz where more than a hundred people receive daily food, clothing and shower service for homeless. “She has dedicated all her life to the most vulnerable people. That is what makes her worthy of the maximum recognition that the community gives”, said the regional chief executive.

Nevertheless, Sister Cristina said “I CAN NOT TAKE IT, I DO NOT WANT IT, I SHOULD NOT HAVE IT” This award should be given to the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul as a whole. “I have not done anything special, I just fulfil my duty. I am not a person who has excelled in anything, I am only a simple Sister, and these things are not for me. I cannot take it, I do not want it, I should not have it”, she insisted. So, she believes that the award should be given to the Congregation as a whole!

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