BRAZIL/ROME, Renate Miriam Dekker and Mechthild Jahn •
On 13 October, together, we watched the canonization Mass of Sister Dulce, “Holy Dulce of the Poor” on television. I told Mechthild Jahn that I personally knew Sister Dulce during the sowing of the Pilgrim MTA in northeastern Brazil. Father Miguel Lencastre and I made apostolic trips traveling great distances, from Ceará to Bahia to make our Pilgrim Mother known. —
An encounter with Sister Dulce
In Salvador, we got an interview with Sr. Dulce at San Antonio Hospital. It must have been 1988 or 1989. We wanted to go to her Social Works with the Campaign, and we counted on her help, since she was a very influential person. We do not have good memories of this encounter. We left, so to speak, disappointed. She received us in a hurry and showed no special interest in our apostolate. At least we managed to leave an image in her hands. That was it. I didn’t know anymore, and in 1990, she fell ill, dying in1992.
But today, on the very day of her canonization, Mechthild commented to me on the article (at the Official National Schoenstatt Website of Brazil) by Karen Bueno and Sister M. Nilza:
“The Pilgrim MTA in Santa Dulce’s room.”
The article related that it was about the 10,996 image of the Pilgrim MTA, and it was in Sister Dulce’s room, which has been preserved intact since her death. The small room is kept as a memorial and is protected by glass. Thousands of pilgrims devoutly visit Santa Dulce’s historical sites, and there they also meet the Pilgrim MTA.
Surprised, I ask myself, is it the same image we gave her on that occasion?
God’s ways are unfathomable
As your allies, it is up to us to sow the seed in the soil, to contribute our one percent. And the Blessed Mother takes care of the other ninety-nine percent. How and when the seed will germinate up to us. She is the great Missionary.
This life experience, so many times verified, was repeated once more… and right at Santa Dulce’s canonization, the first Brazilian born saint! Surprises from God!
Thank you, Sister Dulce! If you took our Mother to your own room, she obviously meant something in your life. Since you did not have time because you charism was different, she now contributes to the Campaign in her memorial.
Meanwhile, the Shrines of Olinda and Recife, home of northeastern Schoenstatt, have celebrated their Silver Jubilee, and the Blessed Mother has long assumed her throne of graces in the San Salvador Shrine in Bahia, fruits of this first seed, and those who continued to water it.
Original: Portuguese. 17 October 2019. Translation: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, USA