• August 5, 2017

El Salvador: The Widow’s Mite

The Heart’s Home sis­ters in San Pedro Perulapan (El Salvador) do their best to help out the Heart’s Home mis­sion­aries living in San Salvador. Every week, they spend a day with them, vis­iting friends. Sr Anna shares with us one of those moments:

It is time for Mass to begin. The church has been under con­struc­tion for many years already, so we are actu­ally in the open air, sur­rounded by cinder-block walls, hanging cables, and the hubbub of the street that comes in for lack of win­dows. The atmo­sphere is more like a train sta­tion than a sacred place, yet... Mass is about to begin. The priest isn’t here. We wait a little more…we will have a com­mu­nion ser­vice.

By my side, sits Milagros. She is in her for­ties, she suf­fers from a slight mental hand­icap and has a par­a­lyzed and deformed hand. Every day she goes out to sell can­dies in the street. That evening, she sits on the bench, tired; she has not sold any­thing today. But when a little child comes over to buy a piece of candy and she has no change, she offers it gen­er­ously.

The moment for the homily arrives: she looks at me a bit sad and says: “OH! How much we miss the priest!” A man passes by, she offers to sell him a candy and then turns back to show me, vic­to­rious, the result of the sale: 25 cents, just enough to buy some­thing to eat for tonight. But how sur­prised I am to see that when it comes time for the col­lec­tion, Milagros, with a big smile, puts in all the money she has just received: A living Gospel! I remain deeply moved by this woman so full of faith, of hope, and of charity: smiling, she gave every­thing! Real thanks­giving, real life lesson!

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