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Mother Marie Antoinette de la Trinite Dies In France at 76

May 31, 1996 GMT

PARIS (AP) _ Mother Marie Antoinette de la Trinite, the superior general of the Little Sisters of the Poor who was instrumental in expanding the order’s presence worldwide, has died. She was 76.

The order said Mother de la Trinite died Wednesday. It gave no cause of death.

Born Florence Monier on Feb. 18, 1920, Mother de la Trinite joined the order in 1942, rather than attending medical school as her father wanted. She took her final vows seven years later.

In 1957 she was named provincial superior in Brittany in western France. Seven years later she became the order’s secretary general, a post she held until her death.

Mother de la Trinite was responsible for opening 32 missions around the world. The last mission was inaugurated several months ago in Chonju, South Korea.

Today, 3,700 nuns belong to the Little Sisters of the Poor in 30 countries, including the United States. The order continues to work in Algeria despite the increasing violence in the North African country, including last week’s assassination of seven French monks by their Islamic militant kidnappers.

Mother de la Trinite was also a vocal opponent of euthanasia.

``The dignity of man does not consist in being able to chose the time of one’s death,″ she once wrote, ``but to be conscious that his first right is the right to respect life and man’s dignity.″

A funeral was to be held Saturday in Rennes. Mass was to be celebrated by Monsignor Jacques Julien, the Archbishop of Rennes.