Haitian Bodies Uncovered: Some Dead, Others Alive

Vicar General’s Body Found Clasping Reliquary

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, JAN. 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- As rescue teams continue uncovering bodies in the Port-au-Prince rubble, including the corpse of the archdiocese’s vicar general, they are finding that some are still alive in the ruins.

Caritas reported today that the search and rescue teams, who are working to find survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake that destroyed the city, already found two women alive in the ruins of the cathedral.

They found 69-year-old Enu Zizi buried under the rubble Tuesday, in pain but alive after waiting an entire week for her rescue. The Caritas workers, partnered with the Cancun Mexico Rescue Brigade and the South African Relief Team to dig for two hours for the woman’s release.

A second woman, around 60 years old, was also found alive, though her identity is not yet known.

Caritas members also found the dead body of Monsignor Charles Benoit, the vicar general of the Port-au-Prince Archdiocese, who died with his hands around a reliquary with a wafer inside.

Archbishop Joseph Serge-Miot, the head of the archdiocese, was also killed in the quake.

Zizi had been attending a Church meeting at the archbishop’s residence when the quake happened.

She said that after the disaster, she exchanged conversation with a vicar who was also trapped, until he fell silent after a few days, AP reported.

As Zizi waited, she prayed. «I talked only to my boss, God,» she said. «I didn’t need humans anymore.»

Zizi’s first words to her rescuers were, «I love you.»

After being dug out of the rubble, the Haitian Catholic was pronounced dehydrated by doctors, with a dislocated hip and a broken leg, but otherwise fine.


The rescue workers affirmed that this experience of finding the survivors has given them renewed strength.

Ahmed Bham, leader of the South African team, stated: «It is the first time we have saved somebody’s life after such a long time after the quake. The team has got an energy boost new and we are heading out to do more work as there is still hope.»

Ruth Schöffl, from Caritas Austria, said that finding Zizi was a «small miracle.»

She explained: «After a week of searching we heard this voice. I was able to speak to her, translating for the rescue team.»

Caritas has gathered Mexican and Cuban doctors to care for the injured at the cathedral, many of whom have «serious wounds in advanced degrees of decomposition,» and are in need of amputations in order to live.

Father Antonio Sandoval, the agency’s regional coordinator of Latin America, affirmed the «bravery and generosity» of those who are working to save Haitian lives.

«The generosity continues and they show us how life can overcome death,» he said.

Other Caritas workers are distributing food kits, water, plastic sheets and assistance to the Haitians. The report noted that aid is arriving continually, as donations are sent from all parts of the world. One of the poorest national chapters, which works in the Congo, managed to raise $5,000 for the relief effort.

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