Edna Rose Ritchings was born in 1925 and died on March 4, 2017.
She was the symbolic maintainer of the International Peace Mission movement.
Rose Ritchings was also known as ‘Sweet Angel’ in the movement, or as Mrs. S. A. Divine or Mother Divine because she was the widow of the movement’s leader, Father Divine.
Rose Ritchings helped Father Divine, who claimed to be God, in his declining years.
Rose Ritchings and her husband lived in a manor home, which doubled as a Peace Mission headquarters and church known as the Woodmont manor & estate from 1953.
Which was located at Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb.
In 1965, Father Divine died and was later interred in a crypt and mausoleum on the premises.
Mrs. Divine resised at the Woodmont estate.
She was drawn to the movement in its decline in the early 1940s while she was still in high school.
And so many other adherents of Father Divine, she broke ties with her parents, and adopted a new name, “Sweet Angel”.
Moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then the headquarters of the movement, she became one of Father Divine’s personal secretaries.
Edna proposed to him one day in the office by saying, “I want to marry you because I know you are God.”
They then got married in secret on April 29, 1946 in Washington, D.C. Ritchings was 21, and Father Divine about 65.
The marriage was kept secret from most followers until Ritchings’s visa expired in the summer of 1946, and Father Divine had to disclose it, now a celebrated anniversary in the movement.
Edna Rose Ritchings passed away at 92 years old.