PARAGUAY, Marguerite Beckers •
Sunday, 29 April 2018 was a very special day for the Ministry of Hope in the Diocese of Encarnación. Rosaries were collected from the diocese’s different communities and given to artist Koki Ruiz, for a mosaic being made for, a future blessed Paraguayan, who is very popular. —
In the midst of nature and the peaceful atmosphere of his Tañarandy workshop in Paraguay, artist Koki Ruiz, selects rosaries by color that the faithful have donated to give life to a new work. Pope Francis sent the artist a rosary he used during his trip to Paraguay for this endeavor. Chiquitunga will be beatified on June 23rd. As of now, Ruiz has collected 30,000 rosaries donated toward the creation of the mosaic, which will be 9 (27ft.) meters high by 7 (21ft.) meters wide, and that will be framed in an altarpiece that will be 14(42ft.) meters high.
The Discalced Carmelite Sisters requested the altarpiece, and the idea to use rosaries as the medium for the work emerged after Koki read Chiquitunga’s biography and intimate diaries, which were his main source of inspiration.
A great number of María Felicia de Jesús Sacramentado’s (popularly known as Chiquitunga) devotees’ offerings of 200,000 coconuts with inscribed prayers made up the altar created by the same artist for Pope Francis’ visit in July 2015: approximately 22,800 have been requested for her beatification.
The Auxiliary MTA at our meeting with Koki Ruiz
The fact that it was in Tañarandy and that this great artist welcomed us so affectionately was very touching for our group of the Ministry of Hope. All of us have grown in spirituality. The Auxiliary MTA traveled with us; the Blessed Mother was present.
Brief biography of Chiquitunga
María Felicia Guggiari Echeverría was born in Villarrica on 12 January 1925. She dedicated herself intensely to prayer and to the Catholic Action Apostolate of Paraguay from the age of 14.
During this period, she did catechesis with children, teens, workers, university students with problems, the poor, ill, and elderly.
On 14 August 1955, at the age of 30, she responded to God’s call to enter the contemplative life in the Order of the Disclaced Carmelites. Her name became María Felicia de Jesús Sacramentado.
She contracted hepatitis at 34, and she died on Easter Sunday, 28 March 1959.
Chiquitunga’s last words were: “Beloved Daddy, I am so happy! The Catholic religion is so great! My encounter with my Jesus is such a blessing! I am very happy!” and “Jesus I love you. What a sweet encounter! Virgin Mary!”
Her beatification will be in Asunción on June 23rd, and Cardinal Angelo Amato, who will travel to represent Pope Francis, will be the celebrant.
Original: Spanish. 4 May 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA