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Rest In Peace, Audrey Santo

Last weekend I learned that Audrey Santo is dead.

Santo, who at age three fell into a swimming pool and spent the final eleven years of her life in a comalike state known as akinetic mutism, was believed by many to be a victim soul, chosen by the Virgin Mary to take upon herself the sufferings of others. Thousands of people made pilgrimages to her mother’s Worcester, Massachusetts home; Audrey’s presence, they said, caused oil to flow from statues of Jesus and Mary, and after visiting her many claimed to have been healed.

I spoke to many of these people in 2004 while writing about Audrey for Boston’s Weekly Dig. It was the last story I wrote for them, and was never published; the editor wanted me to make it edgier, to be more caustic. I didn’t have much enthusiasm for that, and the story withered. What was the point, I thought; who was I call to call pathetic and laughable and cynical something that soothed the suffering of others?

Audrey died this April. The never-published article is here.

Comments (2 comments)

whoahh hat was an amazing story i thougth it was great and sad at th same time i feel sorry or her

shanno broderick / December 5th, 2008, 6:34 am

Poor Little Audrey, her story is amazing. I’m so grateful to be in the possession of the oil from the weeping statues in Audrey’s home. I’m asking Little Audrey for a special request for Little Ian Cusack only 6, he was hit by a car last Sept. He is very sick in Cork University Hospital, Ireland. He has had 17 operations in his little life but has now been struck down by meningitis and has been given 3 – 7 days to live. I’m asking for Little Audrey’s intercession for this little pet. Please Little Audrey lay your healings hands upon Ian. Thank you xxxxx

Liz Ryan 24th March 2009 / March 24th, 2009, 5:46 am

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