Archbishop Peter Kairo (centre) from Nyeri diocese blesses ceremonial chalices during a rehersal for Africa's first Roman Catholic beatification ceremony. Final preparations were being made to host thousands of worshippers, officials and visitors who are expected to congregate 23 May for the event in the town of Nyeri approximately 150 kilometers north of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The ceremony was a critical step towards sainthood for Irene Stefani, an Italian nun and missionary who is beloved in Nyeri for her selfless service to wounded World War One soldiers and ailing locals alike. Sister Stefani arrived in Kenya in 1915 and gained fame over the following years for her generosity and extraordinary empathy. She died in 1930 after contracting plague.

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