by Natalia Fassano, Missionary in Brooklyn
“I was born in Puerto Rico on March 3, 1914. I will turn a century soon, Mami!” Countless times have we heard our friend Doña Beatriz repeat this joyous hope, as we bring her Holy Communion every Sunday to her project apartment.
What a joy did March 3, 2014 brought to us and to the other ‘doñas’ (Catalina, Delia, Virginia, Luz Delia) who we visit in the same neighborhood and who have been friends with her for over 50 years! Guitar, balloons, flowers, delicious food, candles. And even a bit of salsa! Salsa which brings back strength to her arms and rhythm to her legs, as she sits on her wheelchair, enjoying every note of it: “Oh , it reminds me of my years of youth!”
“One hundred years! What is your secret, tell us, Doña Beatriz?”
“Well, I have rarely gotten mad. I took life with simplicity.”
“Just that? "
“Well, you know: the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want!”
The Wisdom of the humble and little ones!
Right before the party, we all share the Holy Communion Service. What an intensity of silence, of intercession and fervent prayer are these women capable of!
“Alegría, Alegría!” (Joy, Joy) sings with all her heart our 100-year old friend as we proclaim: "Alleluia , Alleluia." Is it deafness that mixes up the words or is it real wisdom that is able to interpret its true meaning? That little Piece of Bread which melts in their mouths and integrates itself to their bodies is not only the light and strength, the peace and health that our friends pray for, it is the very meaning of their lives. And a life to which Mercy has granted 100 years!
“You bring me the Bread of Life. You are my daughters, my family. May God bless you and protect you!” says Dona Beatriz once more.
May He bless YOU, dear grandma! Happy 100th birthday!