[Lebrija – Province of Spain South] On February 27th the Lebrija Gold Medal was presented to the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in the Juan Bernabe Theatre of Lebrija. It was presented in commemoration of the Company’s first century of service to this city through San Andrés’ Asylum. The ceremony was led by Maria Rosa, a broadcaster from Radio Lebrija.
A short video was shown on the origins of San Andrés’ Asylum and the different sisters that have been missioned at this residence. This was followed by the Lady Mayor of Lebrija, Maria José Fernandez, who explained the reasons for the award. City Council granted the gold medal of the city to the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul because of their service and social commitment, always identified with the Company. She had several anecdotes about the sisters, some of whom are now in the centre, such as Sister Angel Ortiz.
Maria Carmen Bellido, a young Vincentian Marian Youth member, made a presentation to the sisters remembering moments of her life and evoking the virtues always evidenced by the Sisters.
Next, the Mayor presented the gold medal ofLebrijaCityto Sister Manuela Castilla,Superiorof the current Community, as representative of all the sisters’ who have spent their lives serving in San Andrés’ Asylum during the last hundred years.
In her intervention, Sister Manuela recalled that from February 23, 1913 until today, “The work of the sisters has always been to assist our elderly people, not only in their material necessities but also spiritual.”
She also underlined the enormous work of human and spiritual formation carried out through San Andrés’ Asylum. In keeping with the Vincentian charism, the sisters have worked in catechesis, first by means of the Children of Mary and now in the association of Vincentian Marian Youth.
“Only the Lord knows the fruits of so much work in all these previously mentioned areas, carried out with love, sacrifice and perseverance by so many sisters, which is recognized in this award.
Sister Manuela also made a special mention of all the employees and volunteers of San Andrés’ Asylum that have accompanied the sisters in their daily work over the years. They have given their time and the best of themselves with love and happiness to serve our adults.
Finally, on behalf of the whole community, Sister Manuela thanked the city ofLebrijafor the Gold Medal. “I ask the Lord to reward your generosity and affection demonstrated to the Company of the Daughters of the Charity of St Vincent de Paul.”
“May Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal help our Company to continue in service to the town ofLebrija, through San Andrés’ Asylum for many more years. May she awaken in the hearts of the youth of this town, new vocations to the consecrated life and to the life of service to the poorest persons in the Vincentian charism. I can assure you that, in this life, they won’t only find an important social work to carry out, but they will find their own happiness.”
Two employees of San Andrés’ Asylum made a presentation of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, as an expression of love and congratulations from all the employees of the centre. The ceremony concluded with the playing of theAndalusiaand of Spanish hymns by the Saint Cecilia Band of the town.