SAN PABLO - Community of San Pablo

1948 to the present

In 1945, MBishop Damase Laberge, apostolic prefect of Saint Joseph mission of Amazonia, Peru, asked the Hospitallers to care for the lepers in San Pablo.

On September 15, 1948, Sisters Saint-Albert and Imelda Cyr arrived in San Pablo only accessible by boat.  They found two villages, one being the contaminated zone consisting of 350 lepers living in poverty and isolation, the other located south along the Amazon, served as a residence for health care staff and employees.  This is where the sisters would have their community.

Numerous difficulties were encountered with the former directors and the government.  Fortunately, other Hospitallers arrived in San Pablo in November 1948 and in 1949. In 1957, The Sisters undertook drastic changes to the leprosarium caring for 712 lepers.  In 1955, 15 lepers were declared cured.

The Sisters organized a “Prevention Center” to receive children born with leprosy.  With the consent of their parents, the six year old children were sent to Indiana where other RHSJs received them and provided for their education until 2000 when the Sisters closed this house.

Today, San Pablo is no longer a refuge for lepers, but a village which is open to a neighboring population.