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The Princess

Marion Mill was born in a fairy tale royal palace in Hungary. Her first spoon was solid gold. They sent her to school in Vienna where she became an actress, and there she met and fell in love with a young medical student named Otto.

Otto and Marion married and went to live in Hollywood, CA. There, as they “set up house,” he began to dabble in movies. He became so interested in movies that he gave up his medical practice, and went on to become the internationally famed movie director Otto Preminger. Marion’s beauty, wit, and irresistible charm brought her everything a woman desires. In Europe, New York and Hollywood she became a famous international hostess.

But Otto’s princess could not handle the fast life of Hollywood. She went into alcohol, drugs and numerous affairs. Her life and lifestyle became so sordid, even for Hollywood, that Otto Preminger divorced Marion. She tried to take her own life three times, unsuccessfully, and finally moved back to Vienna.

There at a party she met another doctor, named Albert Schweitzer, the well-known medical doctor, musician, philosopher, theologian and missionary. Schweitzer was home on leave from his hospital in Lambarene, Africa.

She was so fascinated by Schweitzer, that she asked him if she could talk to him alone, and he permitted that. For almost six months, every week, she met with Dr. Albert Schweitzer. At the end of that time he was going to go back to Africa, and she begged him to let her go with him. Schweitzer surprised everyone by agreeing. Marion, the young princess, who was born in a palace went to a little village in Lambarene, Africa, and spent the rest of her life emptying bed pans and tearing up sheets to make bandages for putrid sores on the poverty-stricken nationals.

She wrote her autobiography. I love the title of it—All I Want is Everything. When she died, Time Magazine quoted from her autobiography these words: “Albert Schweitzer says there are two kinds of people. There are the helpers, and the non-helpers. I thank God He allowed me to become a helper, and in helping, I found everything.”

Keep us, Lord, so awake in the duties of our calling that we may sleep in thy peace and wake in thy glory.

John Donne, Christianity Today, p. 50