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(LifeSiteNews) — Amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, a group of Catholic nuns have courageously chosen not to evacuate the war-torn region and instead remain to minister to disabled children. 

According to a prayer request shared with LifeSiteNews, three members of the Missionaries of Charity chose not to evacuate the Gaza Strip, choosing instead to stay with the poor, sick adults and disabled children they have been serving. 

The heroic decision of the sisters comes weeks after the terrorist group Hamas unexpectedly attacked Israel, tragically killing more than a thousand people and kidnapping at least 200. Israel has since issued air strikes on Gaza in a counterattack, leading to many more casualties. While Palestinians have been advised to evacuate the Gaza Strip due to the war, the three Missionaries of Charity chose not to abandon those who had no one else to care for them. 

READ: Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem renews call for prayer to end ‘this senseless violence’ in Holy Land 

“They did not evacuate and chose to stay behind with their 30 disabled children and 30 sick and poor adults whom they serve there in their mission,” the prayer request, written by a fellow sister, reads. “If they leave, there is no one to take care of them.” 

“They are peaceful and calm and also amazingly joyful! They made the decision to stay with their sick children and poor and not leave them alone during this terrible time, trusting that the Lord will be their strength and refuge. Let us pray for them and for peace!” 

The Missionaries of Charity have been serving the poor and sick in Gaza for more than 50 years, having first arrived in February 1973. A video made several months ago to commemorate the sisters’ long-time presence in Gaza outlined their work among special needs children and adults as well as their ministry to the homeless and refugees.  

A priest interviewed in the video described these sisters as “the angels of Gaza.” 

READ: Pope Francis declares October 27 day of prayer, fasting for peace in Holy Land 

The Missionaries of Charity were founded in 1950 in Calcutta, India by the beloved saint known affectionately as Mother Teresa. Its simple yet profound mission is to accompany the “poorest of the poor,” a calling which is epitomized in the example of the three sisters who are remaining alongside the poor and sick of Gaza instead of abandoning them to the terrors of war. 

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