Thursday, June 12, 2008

96 year-old activist is pride of Caritas Valencia volunteers

Clotilde Veniel; Photo courtesy of

.- Ninety six year-old Clotilde Veniel is the oldest Caritas volunteer in the Spanish Archdiocese of Valencia. She visits the sick and the elderly at their homes in the town of Bicorp. According to the AVAN news agency, “Veniel has been a member of Caritas in Bicorp since it was founded in 1989 and she helps make pastries for the poor.”

“The sick people in our town always want her to come and visit,” AVAN reported. She tries to “encourage them and talk to them about God and tell them to have faith and hope in Him.”

“Helping others is a great joy, because I can contribute to alleviating peoples’ suffering. It’s something my parents, who were very devout Catholics, taught me,” she said. “My six brothers and sisters and I were very close, we learned to share and to support each other in difficult times,” she recalled.

For years, Veniel worked as a maid in Barcelona to help her parents. She has two children and was widowed two years ago. She lives alone because, “thanks be to God I can still take care of myself.”

According her pastor Father Joaquin Civera, Veniel is “an affectionate woman, and she has a great sense of humor and extraordinary vitality and cheer.” He administers to her the Anointing of the Sick at the annual Mass for the infirm each year, because “this sacrament is not only for those who suffer an illness, but also for older people, which is why Clotilde receives it.”

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