Woman credits God on her 90th birthday

A 90-year-old woman from Samatau, Faleseela, Lepa and Leauvaa has credited her dedication to attending church for her longevity in life.

Mother of seven, Seneuefa Kelekolio Iiga, celebrated her 90th birthday with families and friends yesterday. But the celebration of her life began early, with a church service on the eve of New Year, at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Mulivai.

She dedicated the success of her long life to what she described as “God’s never-ending guidance and love upon her life”.  

“I thank God first and foremost for blessing me with life because I would not have made it this far without you.” 

“Gifts, food or presents are not significant to me, what matters to me is attending church mass.”

“My parents were the late Kelekolio and Telesia Kelekolio, they taught me how to read and write because they were Catholic catechist,” she said.

Seneuefa married her late husband Luatele Ioane Iiga at the Mulivai Cathedral and he passed on at the age of 70.

“At the moment I dedicate my life in prayer, I pray the rosary every day, I never forget or miss it.”

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“I remember my children, families, church leaders especially the whole world, for those that are hungry or thirsty in my prayers.”

“I do not wish for any gift in this world only that I return the thanksgiving towards our heavenly father for his never ending love through mass,” she added. 

Maria Kelekolio Maiava, one of her daughters, described her mother as a strict and loving woman. 

“As a mother, she was strict in raising her kids — the proof is the fact that none of her kids got married below the age of 30.”

“She did not want any of us to grow up and be dependent on parents, but instead be independent and stable in life.”

“We think what keeps her going, is her heart that is devout to prayers. She is driven to read prayer books, she wakes up to praying and closes each day with a prayer,” she said.

Another daughter, who is not married, is currently taking care of their mother according to Maria. 

“She has a sharp memory in terms of her past — even at the age of 90. She would tell us stories of her father’s fishing trips, which after she would distribute her father’s catch among the villagers.”

“We are grateful to have a mother that fought for our wellbeing, words cannot describe of how much we appreciate her love and care.”

“She stands out for being true to herself, and as her parents were devout Catholics, she followed in their footsteps,” added Maria.

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