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SOWING…

27 april 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do not look for it... This story is not in the Gospel, but it is full of the Gospel... It is the story of two seeds that one morning were left in the hands of the Sower…

 

 

At the beginning I said "story"... But... there is so little story here, the one that men do... Of course, you know why?... The story of a seed is always dark... silent... monotonous: to bury... to die... to wait...

Their names? Sister María Javier and Sister Guillermina.

We know little or nothing of their lives before they arrive in Argentina.

In front of the insistent voice which said to them: "Who will I send?", They answered: "Send me"

They generously left their homeland, Spain and Portugal, and arrived in Argentina in 1912. They began their mission at Coronda Hospital, working and serving their brothers as nurses.

The years passed... It was the year 1919... A black cloud was floating over the population of Totoras. A terrible epidemic began to whip this city, causing great devastation. The panorama was terribly devastating. The hospital that had not yet been inaugurated had to be able to take care of those who were attacked by the evil. The bodies could not be watched over or taken to the cemetery through the streets of the city for fear of contagion.

There were already so many victims taking the plague, that the only doctor in the hospital could not suffice. It was then that he knocked on the doors of the "San José" school, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, to ask the help of two sisters.

Who will go? To ask or designate?... and thousands of questions and doubts were nailed to the heart of the superior sister. She had recourse to prayer... Then she gathered her sisters and explained the request... A great silence was made...

"If the grain of wheat falls to the ground and does not die... it stays alone, but if it dies..."

These words of Jesus penetrated deeply into the open furrow of two hearts inflamed with love ...
Yes!... It was still the voice of the Lord: "Who will I send?"

Sister María Javier: 62 years old... Sister Guillermina: 39 years old...

 


Two lives and one answer: HERE WE ARE, LORD SEND US! They volunteered, just as all the other sisters in the community volunteered.

They said goodbye to their sisters, knowing that for security reasons they would not be able to return to the community while in hospital.

One must be very generous to give oneself without reserving anything of what Jesus asks... But, how life is sad when one refuses something to the One who has given everything without measure…
Has your God ever told you 'no'?

On October 20, 1919, they entered the hospital to take care of their brothers, to ease their pain, to comfort them and to prepare them for the departure to the house of God the Father.

The work was painful, exhausting day and night, under the constant threat of contagion... Nevertheless, they came and went attentive, caring for one, comforting another, helping everyone to offer suffering for the One who suffered so much for us.

From that day they did not see any of their sisters; there was an interposed wall...
And days passed; the bubonic plague (transmitted by the rats) was gathering more and more lives… And one morning, María Javier feels the unambiguous signs: she is sick. She goes to bed a few days and, still recovering, she goes back to work, to serve Jesus in her suffering brothers and Guillermina who also contracted the terrible evil.

Weak, feverish, María Javier does not spare herself; there is an inner strength that supports her, encourages her to visit the sick, to spend nights with the dying...

Sister Guillermina, unable to recover her strength, exhausted by illness, is prostrate, consumed by fever; it is the same with Sister Maria Javier a few days later.

Totally stripped, poor, far from their sisters, they offered their lives. Knowing the state of her sisters, the superior insists again and again to have the permission to see them, even at the risk of contracting the disease; finally, after many denials, permission was granted.

What an encounter! There were few words... It is because, in the greatest moments of life, the most eloquent language is that of silence. And there was an encounter, to say goodbye...
- "Tell our sisters not to worry about us... We are going to LIFE... Soon this evil will come to an end... See you soon... In heaven... Now, more than ever, we are happy"...

A few days later ... The hot summer sun had already ripened the wheat and the harvest was approaching. Ears full of promise, announced the white flour for Bread that satisfies the hunger of men ... ears that would later become a Host of Love...

Yes, God, Sun of LOVE, had matured these two sisters, ears full of a life given only to Him and to the brothers... It was the time of the harvest...

On November 13, 1919, the two died three hours apart... And that night, when the sun was hidden in the clouds, the sky was tinged with the colour of the martyrs, the colour of the love...
Due to the circumstances and prudence, as we said at the beginning, the dead were not watched and they were taken to the cemetery by a street far from the population. But with them, it happened otherwise.

People did not want it ... And so the streets filled with people who came to say goodbye to those who had fulfilled the Master's words: "There is no greater love than to give one's life for one's friends ". (Jn 15,13)

And when these two lives died out, the light of hope was rekindled... The two seeds died and life began to flourish... Maria Javier and Guillermina had offered their lives to put an end to the plague. Indeed, the two sisters were the last victims. The sick gradually recovered and desolation was something that remained in the past.

And here is the summary of the story: María Javier and Guillermina had a boat and a net... dreams, illusions, projects ... but one day, Jesus passed by and said to them: "Leave the nets and now go fishing humanity ... Come with me!" And, seduced by the look and the voice of the Master, they left everything and followed His footsteps...

Since then, the whole city of Totoras has been paying homage to them as "the martyrs of charity".

 

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady


 

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