Monday, November 04, 2013

Two personally-meaningful Paper Saints

These were started on All Saints' Day but only yesterday Number Six and I had the chance to finish them. The top one is dear Saint Therese of Lisieux, holding her own autobiography. Number Six did a superb job on this paper saint--soon to be her confirmation saint!

The second one is not very well known: Saint Walburga OSB, Virgin and Abbess. Born in England but lived in Germany, where she went to work in the time of great Saint Boniface, the Apostle of Germany--whose story about the great tree is a favorite with kids.

Why did I want to make this paper saint this year?
Because Saint Walburga has great personal significance. I loved my Benedictine sisters who ran the school my sisters and I attended in Rio. They had the beautiful traditional habit and sang the sweetest, most gorgeous Gregorian Chant--and that's where I learned it, on those early morning masses at the large convent chapel where my parents drove us each Sunday.
So when my brother Joao was living in Boulder, CO, and we accidentally discovered a Benedictine convent during a visit, I was very curious. The nuns at the Saint Walburga Abbey in Colorado looked--and sounded--so much like "my" nuns! We visited them every time we visited my brother's family and became friends.

And I told all about them to my parents and my little sister Marta (nicknamed Nina by our kids) in Brazil, almost twenty years ago. About them, and what they told me about Saint Walburga and the Mother-house in Germany. So when Marta lived in Spain during grad school for several years, she contacted and visited the Mother-house of the Colorado Saint Walburga:  the original Saint Walburga Abbey, where the saint is buried and where the miracles attributed to her took place. In a beautiful spot in the heart of Bavaria, the Catholic part of Germany, the Abbey became "home" for my dearest little sister Marta, who found there a home.

Marta is entering the Abbey as a postulant next January. I still find it hard to believe. She had been a Major Seminary professor for oven ten years in Brazil, and during the years has gone back to Germany for annual visits. And recently, finally, she has made the decision and has been accepted, to enter the community.

I am so proud, and in my heart there is so much joy for her decision. Sorrow too--especially for my family who will miss her infectious laughter and joy, knowledge, reason, practical advice, and example of living faith. And for her students, especially for those seminary students who will not be able to enjoy her teaching wisdom.

God's will be done!
Saint Therese of Lisieux and Saint Walburga, pray for us!
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