ITALY, Jennifer Stahl •
On Saturday, 27 May, some members of Rome’s Girls’ Youth began a project that continues in the wake of missions and the apostolate, but this time – in our city!
The idea was born from Joseph Engling’s first offering. We also preferred to offer different “flowers” to our Blessed Mother during May: prayers, intentions and works.
We, a small little group of youths accompanied by the joyful Sr. Julia, a Sister of Mary, and the mother of one our youths, prayed the Rosary with residents of a Retirement Home in the center of Rome, in San Pietro en Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains) Square.
At the service of the elderly
The “Little Sisters of the Poor” are at the service of the elderly, and they prefer to always remain small, continuously living in this way in the joy of praying and receiving God’s help.
In this spirit, everyone, the Sisters and the elderly, happily and affectionately welcomed us.
Clara introduced us as we gathered in the little chapel inside the building. We went in procession, singing and playing instruments to the Lourdes Grotto in the garden. There Our Lady of Lourdes and of Fatima joined the Pilgrim Mother with Jesus.
Alessia prayed the introduction to the five mysteries, while the residents of the home prayed the five decades. After the Rosary, we made the elderly happy with Schoenstatt songs and other very beautiful Marian songs, in Spanish of course!
We exchanged stories about our lives, while the Little Sisters prepared a snack of sweets and drinks for all of us, along with our Clara’s wonderful cake that she made.
Denise touched us with the introduction to Schoenstatt and about the Mother Thrice Admirable. The residents warmly welcomed her; they had already prayed in front of the Pilgrim Mother icon, welcoming her together, and each one in the silence of their own room. Now all of our new friends wait the arrival of a Blessed Mother and our next visit, to spend some hours in prayer and in fellowship.
Experiences such as these remind us of the true meaning of Christian life, which as Denise said, is to save people as much as possible.
To help and to be helped, to save and to be saved, there is no better way of learning this than from those who live “being small” in daily life.
The Sisters we met are an example. Our untiring and loving Sr. Julia who accompanied us constantly and the men and women – who could be our grandparents – listened to us last Saturday. They continue to remain small before difficulties and physical sufferings that come with age. Humble, but wise, thanks to the experiences they have lived, and that they transmitted to us, joyfully and full of life, capable of living the moment! We fully saw and experienced Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother in them. We gladly want to continue being with them!
Original: Italian, 15 June 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Eglin, TX USA