Widow of Father Divine Who Proclaimed Himself God Dies at Her Gladwyne Home
Edna Rose Ritchings or Sweet Angel Divine, widow of Father Devine, the charismatic self-styled religious figure, died at her Gladwyne home on March 4, writes Matt Schudel for The Washington Post.
Mother Devine was around 91 years old at the time of her death. Her exact age is unknown as her religious movement ignores chronological age.
Richings married Father Divine nearly seven decades ago and was the founder of the International Peace Mission. She changed her name to Sweet Angel Divine after their marriage in 1946.
“When I heard about Father Divine and what he was doing, intuitively, I felt like he had the answers,” Mother Devine once told Newsday.
Reverend Major Jealous Divine, who declared himself God in 1932, attracted legions of followers through his teachings. His supporters had to follow strict rules including no drinking, smoking, or cursing and remaining celibate. Married couples who joined the flock were given new names and separated from each other.
After the Reverend’s death half a century ago, Mother Devine continued to refer to her husband in the present tense, setting a place for him at every meal.
Read more about the unusual pair at The Washington Post by clicking here.
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