On their feast day, the Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beatification of their foundress: Blessed Mary of St. Joseph.
“The testimony of this simple woman of our time invites everyone, and in particular the beloved sons and daughters of Venezuela, to live the Gospel faithfully”. The words of St. John Paul II at the beatification of Mother Mary of St. Joseph are still remembered today, 25 years after that 7 May 1995. The testimony of life of the founder of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus lives on in the minds and work of the religious of her congregation, who on her feast day celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beatification of the first Venezuelan blessed. The event will be celebrated “ad intra” in the convents due to the preventive measures against the coronavirus
The Superior General of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus, Mother Marelis Parada, fondly remembers the Blessed: “I teach us to love deeply the holy rule of Saint Augustine; a love that should lead us to practice and a practice that should lead us to fall more in love with the Lord”.
On the 25th anniversary of the beatification of Mother Mary, the superior invited us to “thank God for these 25 years”. “We celebrate with the other saints that God has blessed us with the holiness of our mother,” she said. At the same time, the religious affirmed that “it is time to ask the Blessed for many to decide to follow this life of holiness.
An internal celebration
Measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have disrupted this celebration, although this does not mean that the feast of Blessed Mary of St. Joseph will not be celebrated. The nuns will commemorate the festivity in a big way inside their convents and outside online. The Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus will transmit the Eucharist from the mother house and will celebrate it on the roof of the house with loudspeakers so that it can be followed from their own houses.
In Maracay, Mother Mary’s hometown, the bells will ring this May 7 at ten in the morning and six in the afternoon. Likewise, the faithful of the parishes that bear her name have prepared the liturgy from home and have shared it on social networks. Many people have posted pictures of the altars they have dedicated to the Blessed in their homes.
A legacy that lives on
Those who will also live this feast in a special way are the elderly, orphaned children and the needy who are cared for by the Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus, following the example of Mother Mary of St. Joseph. The work continues alive, even in the face of the threat of the coronavirus. The old people’s homes and children’s homes have not abandoned their residents; the religious continue to do everything possible to seek help to get by.
The more than a thousand people who come to the solidarity pans also continue to be supplied. The ARCJ dining room in Los Teques continues to be open and to provide service seven days a week. More than 1000 people are being served daily.