Gratitude for 25 years of history of God’s faithfulness to me

July 16, 1995

Before entering the community that would welcome me, the novitiate community (the Angel Lighthouse in Fatima, as we call it), I went, with my family, to the little Chapel of apparitions.

Immersed as I was in a mixture of feelings of both anguish and joy, of longing and expectation, I did not hear. My brother was the one who drew my attention.

“Listen!” he said. I paid attention. The bells of the Sanctuary rang. It was noon.

Twenty-five years later, I remember this moment and think of it as a metaphor of the deepest desire that the Holy Spirit planted in my heart: to live my life to the rhythm of the time of Fatima. To follow Jesus, accompanied by the Immaculate Heart of Mary, spreading the message that radiates through the world from Fatima. A desire entirely shaped by the charism of my religious family, Aliança de Santa Maria.

Over the years, I have learned to recognize the face of God to the rhythm of the Hail Marys of my rosary, I have learned to know the Heart of Jesus through His Word, “binding the cables” of my life to the Word contemplated every day. I learned to offer myself to my sisters, sustaining myself through the Eucharist, celebrated and adored in so many hours of silence.

The missions that the Lord entrusted to me through my superiors were a source of joy, even though full of challenges. With great emotion I recall the privilege of participating in the human and spiritual growth of the novices entrusted to me. What a joyful and luminous day was the canonization of Saints Francisco and Jacinta. What enthusiasm for Sister Lúcia’s cause, which is progressing in her process of canonization.

I knew and felt my weaknesses, but I experienced with all its beauty, the faithfulness of the God of the Covenant, the Good Shepherd who never let my hand go.

July 16, 2020

When this year began, I decided to ask the Lord for nothing. I only intended to welcome everything as a His gift for our silver jubilee.

He granted me a special time of solitude and silence. With the pandemic he “led me into the wilderness and spoke to my heart” (cf. Hosea 2:16).

He entrusted me with a time of profound experience of the Paschal Mystery. With the death of our sister Marta I learned, in a new way, the humble lesson of poverty and abandonment of myself into God’s hands. And I relearned the peace that is born by slowly praying, “God will provide” (Genesis 22:8)

25 years later, to the rhythm of Fatima’s time, I just desire to say “Yes, I want.” Whatever You want, Lord, just as You want, whenever You want!

My gratitude remains. I am grateful to the Lord of my Life for giving me His Mother; to my family, where I am loved and with whom I have learned to love; I am grateful to the women who made me fall in love with Jesus and the “Lady brighter than the sun,” Áurea and Clara; I am grateful for  those who at all hours are truly my friends; I am grateful for my sisters in Aliança, who are an expression of God’s love and care for me and who have helped me to grow. All have helped to make the silver beauty of this jubilee possible.

Ângela de Fátima Coelho, July 16th, 2020.