WHO IS LINDALVA ?
Lindalva Justo de Oliveira was born on October 20, 1953, in a place called Malhada da Areia, in the municipality of Assu, in Rio Grande do Norte. She was the daughter of the second marriage of the farmer João Justo da Fé – a widower with three children – with the young Maria Lúcia da Fé. Lindalva was the sixth, of the thirteen children of the couple. She was baptized on January 7, 1954, in the Chapel of Olho D’Água, Parish of St. John the Baptist, by Monsignor Júlio Alves Bezerra.
The Sisters noted her natural propensity to help. It was filled with sincere joy when she served the elders and exhorted those who served them to do so with sincere love.
On July 16, 1989, the day of Our Lady of Carmel, Lindalva and five other Sisters began the Seminary in Recife. On January 29, 1991, Sister Lindalva was missioned to Salvador in Bahia, where she worked in the shelterof the Dom Pedro II Abbey, in the neighbourhood of Rome.This institution, founded in 1887, provides assistance to impoverished elderly people. Sister Lindalva was assigned to a pavilion that served 40 elders.
Sr. Lindalva of modest conduct, simple and discreet, she revealed purity in her attitudes and treated all with charity. In the midst of so many things, she still found time to visit the poor at home with some ladies of charity and raise funds to meet the needs of these and other poor people she attended. Her greatest strength was also present in human life, which encouraged her to nourish the flame of faith and charity. This is how the young Sister describes her union and her love for God in the surety that this love is complete when united to the humble and constant service of others.
Sister Lindalva did not forget to confess that in any situation she had a firm thought: to serve with humility in the love of Christ. “We must serve with love and giving the poorest brother who is where God lives and waits for us.”To all she animated not forgetting friends and relatives, young women, and especially the suffering ones. For everyone, she had a word of encouragement at the exact moment when needed.
… In 1993, due to a recommendation, the Shelter of D. Pedro II, welcomed among the elders, a man of 46 years, named Augusto da Silva Peixoto. He went on harassing Sister Lindalva, and even went so far as to express his intentions. She began to fear and tried to pull away as far as she could. She shared this secret with other Sisters and took refuge in prayer. Her love for the old people kept her in the Shelter, and she even said to a Sister: “I’d rather my blood be shed than to depart from here.” Because he was not reciprocated, Augustus went to the market and bought a knife that he grinded when he reached the Shelter.
Sister Lindalva had participated in the way of cross at dawn, in the parish of Boa Viagem, in the companionship of her Community Sisters and the Parishioners. When she returned, she went to breakfast for the elderly. She went up the stairs to the infirmary, put on her apron, and, as she prepared the tray, felt a touch on her shoulder: she turned and had time to see the angry face of the man who had arrived in the Shelter a few months ago…
The time had come for the holocaust. It was on that Good Friday – April 9, 1993 – With the instrument of his macabre knife, he perforated her innocent body with about 44 stab wounds. She was bathed in her own blood. At the time of the holocaust, horrible, but fruitful, she appeared to serve, just as Scripture had said:“just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'(Mt. 20,28). In her body, according to the medical-legal report, 44 deep wounds, as in the body of his Master were wounded 39 flogging, plus the stigmata of the hands, feet and the sacred heart.
To Sister Lindalva, only a few years of consecrated life were enough to crown her with martyrdom, for martyrdom means the donation of one’s own life as proof of great love for God and for the brothers. She was convinced that she had been right in her vocation, she had been born to give herself to God in the person of the poor, and she wanted nothing more than to live this donation with dedication and love
On that Good Friday, while Christ was dying on the cross, Sister Lindalva was dying in her infirmary. Christ took 39 stripes, and with the 5 wounds, of the feet, hands and side, in all 44, symbolically uniting the death of Lindalva to his passion, which few minutes before she had just celebrated in the way of Cross. Throughout the night a crowd of faithful, priests, religious, people of all social status, and even evangelicals, came from all over the city. On the morning of Holy Saturday, the bishop Lucas Moreira Neves, then Cardinal Primate of Salvador, celebrated the funeral rites.
At Sunday Mass he commented that a few years of religious life were enough for her to receive the grace of martyrdom, for she gave her life out of love and evoked the “suggestions that her name integrate”, He said: “pretty vest is a white vest. that she, like every Christian, received at his baptism; Pretty vest is her blue habit of the Daughter of Charity, now shot in the Blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14), to which her blood has been mixed; pretty vest is the clear dawn of Jesus’ Passover, which dawned on her three days after her tragic Good Friday. Limpid dawn, Pretty vest of her own Passover! “
The year 2018 has a special feeling for all of us devotees of Blessed Lindalva, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of her martyrdom. May her example of fidelity to God’s will and of giving to the poorest ones encourage us to follow Christ.
To communicate graces obtained by Blessed Lindalva, please contact:
Cúria Provincial das Filhas da Caridade
Rua Henrique Dias, 208 Boa Vista
50070-140 Recife PE
Tel.: (81) 4009 9609 or (81) 4009 9600
Sister Maria de Fátima do Nascimento DC
and Sister Leonete Custódio DC