The relic of Blessed Sr. Maria Romero arrives in Panama
Panama City, Panama. The Relic of Blessed Sister Maria Romero, one of the Patrons of WYD 2019, arrived at the Chapel of Don Bosco Technical Institute, Panama City. The ceremony was presided by the FMA Mother General, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, together with Sr. Runita Borija, Councilor for Youth Pastoral, and Sr. Ena, Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province of Central America South (CAR). Present at this were Fr. Fabio Attard, SDB, Salesian Councilor for Youth Pastoral, numerous young people, FMA, and SDB who welcomed the Relic that will remain in the Chapel during WYD 2019 and every day for the pilgrims. The FMA will animate an itinerary on the spirituality and holiness of the Blessed.
After the exposition of the Relic by the FMA Mother General, there was a celebratory time of memorial and of prayer, followed by Mother’s Good Night in which she spoke of some attitudes of the Blessed, inviting everyone to let themselves be touched by her witness of faith, charity, and love in order to live the encounter with Christ intensely.
“Jesus himself drew near and walked with them” (Luke 24: 15). Like the disciples of Emmaus, Blessed Maria Troncatti knew how to recognize the living presence of the Lord in the Church and, overcoming difficulties and fears, she was an enthusiastic and courageous witness for the world.
At the conclusion there was a time of deep intimacy with Blessed Sr. Maria Troncatti and a Blessing for each one.
As we admire her example and holiness, let us endeavor to follow her footsteps so that we too may be courageous witnesses of the Gospel.
Life of Blessed Maria Romero Meneses: Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, born in Granada, Nicaragua in 1902, she lived at San Jose di Costa Rica until 1977.
Sister Maria Romero was a volcanic soul, like her native land, Nicaragua, the land of forty volcanoes. She was a woman born into a wealthy and well-established family (her father was also finance minister) who gave herself entirely to the poorest of the poor, with total trust in Providence. Raised in a Christian family, from an early age she felt herself an apostle among her peers, but it was in Costa Rica that Mary discovered in a decisive and shocking way the true condition of the poor, and decided to dedicate herself to them without reserve.
With evangelical and ecclesial sensitivity, she won over to her apostolic anxiety the young students who became "little missionaries" (misioneritas) in the villages around the capital, among abandoned children and dispossessed families. The adults themselves, wealthy entrepreneurs and renowned professionals, were won over by her Marian devotion that obtained amazing graces. They too committed themselves to collaborate actively in the welfare initiatives that Sister Maria under the action of the Spirit, planned with the daring of a most authentic faith in Providence.
For her poor people, Sister Maria first obtained free medical examinations, thanks to the voluntary work of medical specialists. Then with the collaboration of local industrialists, she started professional preparation courses for girls and women. In a short time, she gave life to a polyclinic with various specialties to ensure medical-pharmaceutical assistance for many people and families without any social security benefits. Alongside it, she set up adequate facilities for welcoming patients, sometimes whole families, as well as rooms for catechesis and literacy classes during the waiting time; then a chapel, a garden, and even a veranda with canaries.
For homeless families, often reduced to a precarious life under the bridges of the outskirts, she had built ‘real’ little houses that were comfortable and with the colors of a very small garden, with the aim of recovering embittered souls, restore dignity to lives brutalized by abandonment, opening their hearts to horizons of truth, of hope, and of a new possibility for social insertion.
From this arose the ‘ciudadelas’ (citadels) of Mary Help of Christians, a work that continues to this day thanks to the interest of her collaborators through the lay Association of Help (Association Help for the Needy)
Among the many works and her special activity of spiritual counselor (every day she spent hours and hours of demanding private talks, the so-called consults), she found time and space for an intense mystical life, which was the source of Sister Maria’s apostolate. From her initiative were born dozens of oratories, the Little House of the Virgin, always open to the material and spiritual needs of the marginalized, Mary Help of Christians Social Work, the "citadel", and the Association Help for the Needy.
The life of Sr. Maria was characterized by prayer, obedience, miracles (like the water of Our Lady, an amphora containing many small medals of Mary for her poor people who certainly could not go to Lourdes!), and a strong love for Jesus in the Eucharist.
Her ideal was to “Love Jesus, her King, deeply” and spread this devotion alongside that of His divine Mother. Her most intimate joy was the possibility to bring close to the truth of the Gospel the children, the poor, the suffering, and the marginalized. The greatest reward for her sacrifices was to see the rebirth of peace and faith in a ‘lost’ life.
She made herself ‘all to all’ and forgot herself in order to conquer new friends to her Jesus. Thus she spent herself to the last of her days, the first in which she decided to take a bit of rest.
Sr. Maria died on July 7, 1977.