CHICAGO – A Kane County, Ill., judge ruled Friday that a nun can wear her habit when she goes on trial next week for a traffic violation charge stemming from a fatal accident.

After hearing an impassioned plea from the nun’s mother superior, Judge Ronald Matekaitis decided that Sister Marie Marot can wear the traditional long, dark gray and black garb of the Fraternite Notre Dame order when her case is heard.

“We couldn’t even think of taking off our religious habit,” Sister Marie Martha told the judge in a courtroom in which about 20 other nuns were in attendance. “I would die for it.”

Prosecutors had asked that Marot, 24, not wear her habit, saying it could evoke sympathy or engender anti-Catholic prejudice among potential jurors.

Marot is to go on trial before a jury Monday on charges she ran a red light in October 2007 in Elgin as she drove to the Fraternite Notre Dame church on Chicago’s West Side from the order’s convent in Marengo, Ill. Her van collided with a car, killing a 16-year-old boy.

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