Kind Protection in Every Need

Solicitously attending to all those who turn to her in their needs, great and small, Dona Lucilia works to form them in the way of the Cross, in resignation to God’s will.

More than simply helping with difficulties or solving some intricate problem, Dona Lucilia’s maternal action in benefit of those who come to her for help is something much deeper and more effective than what might appear at first glance.

In fact, the truly Catholic mother is not one who teaches her children to flee suffering, but one who helps them to love the Cross on which the Saviour wanted to die to redeem the world, because it opens up the sure path that will lead us to Heaven. “Per crucem ad lucem – Through the cross to the light,” goes the saying. And if we could hear the soft timbre of Dona Lucilia’s voice today, this would certainly be her message to us, amidst the tribulations of daily life.

Financial assistance…

We can see this when we read the testimony Mrs. Patricia Gamarra sent us from Paraguay, in which she recounts how Dona Lucilia helped her in dire financial straits.

She says: “My mother and I were going through a very difficult economic situation. In addition to not having any work, I had not been paid the amount I was owed for a whole month services I had provided previously. As a result, all my bills were a month in arrears.

“So I started praying to Dona Lucilia, and I came across an article about an unemployed lady who had asked her for help, and then miraculously had the money she needed deposited in her bank account. This filled me with confidence, and I thought: ‘Well, I’ll ask her… I don’t think she’ll do the same for me, but I know that she’ll help me somehow, even if it is by giving me strength and work opportunities.’”

Dona Lucilia’s gentle and effective interventions in our daily tribulations teach us that the cross opens up to us a sure path to Heaven

However, God wanted persistent prayer from Patricia: with each passing moment, things went from bad to worse. One day, after making an exact calculation of her outstanding payments – for her, no small sum – she exclaimed with confidence: “Dona Lucilia, please help!”

The next day she received a phone call from her brother, who said: “Mother told me how much trouble you are in. I have received some money and I am going to give you five million guaranis as a present” – an amount equivalent to nearly seven hundred American dollars.

Patricia holding a replica of the “Quadrinho” of Dona Lucilia

Patricia was astonished, because that was exactly the amount she needed to pay off all her overdue bills! She soon realized that it was Dona Lucilia’s intervention that had moved her brother to this unusual act of generosity: “I asked Dona Lucilia so much to help me, and she did.”

…and a lesson in faith

However, the intervention of so kind a mother did not stop there. Patricia, who was practically without work, began to receive so many requests that she now lacked the time to fill them all.

She also needed to be paid for the month’s services for which she had not received remuneration. She wrote several letters requesting payment, but received no reply. For two months she had insistently asked God: “Please, Lord, make them pay me! Please!” But she received no response, neither from on high nor from the debtor…

She then began to pray to Dona Lucilia more earnestly in this intention. But she felt moved to make an act of detachment and confidence: “Lord, I leave this in Your hands. Your will be done; I will put the matter aside.” It was only then that she received payment!

Patricia attributes this act of abandonment to God’s will to the intervention of her heavenly protector:

“I believe that she was, so to speak, acting in my heart to make me pray in this way. Not only did she give me the money I needed, but also the grace to change my attitude, to really put everything in God’s hands and trust much more. And I am very grateful to her.”

Dona Lucilia’s help thus taught Patricia a valuable lesson in faith: when we detach ourselves from material goods and put our trust in God alone, the rest will be given to us (cf. Lk 12:31).

“Dona Lucilia, we really want to have a daughter!”

If Dona Lucilia is always so willing to help with material difficulties, she is all the more readily disposed to assist her devotees in situations of perplexity and suffering. Let us take a look at the moving account sent in by Mrs. Eriane Dabela de Carvalho, who was born in Parintins, Brazil and currently lives in Ponta Grossa.

“Not only did she give me what I needed, but also the grace to change my attitude, to put everything in God’s hands and to trust”

“Our devotion to Dona Lucilia began in 2018, when we met the Heralds of the Gospel in Ponta Grossa. We delved into the history of their founders and a deep devotion to Dona Lucilia blossomed from reading the work written by Msgr. João about her. Our love grew more and more, and it soon was like second nature for us to turn to her in the most common daily needs. We placed ourselves under her shawl in the certainty that she was our spokesperson with Our Lady, and that both were united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Eriane and Aurora de Maria at the tomb of Dona Lucilia at Consolation Cemetery, in São Paulo

“We had four sons at the time, and our desire to have a girl was great. When we travelled to São Paulo for the first time, we went to pray at Dona Lucilia’s tomb in the Consolation Cemetery. While there, I knelt down and felt inspired to entrust her with our desire. I then wrote a little note in which I prayed the following: ‘Dona Lucilia, we really want to have a daughter, and for this I turn to you. If you hear us and intercede with Our Lady, I promise you that the little girl will be called Maria Lucilia.’”

The desire is granted amidst setbacks

God not only grants His loved ones their petitions, but He does so in the way most suited to help them reach a certain level of perfection. It was not without difficulties that Eriane would have her wish fulfilled, but in the midst of setbacks, which she, helped by Dona Lucilia, would get through with exemplary steadfastness.

“A while later I conceived. Now, to my bewilderment, I lost the baby… That had never happened to me before! But a priest guided us, making us see God’s will and we overcame this phase.

“Shortly afterwards, I became pregnant again. When I had a scan, the doctor told me it was 98 per cent certain to be a boy. I accepted God’s will; it was not to be a girl… May God’s will be done!

After a series of sorrows and setbacks, Dona Lucilia did not fail to grant Eriane’s petition: she gave birth to her long-awaited daughter!

“After a while, I went for another test, and the obstetrician who was analysing the result asked if we already knew if it was a girl or a boy. We commented on the high probability we had been given of it being a boy. She looked at us and announced: ‘Oh, no! It is not a boy, it’s a girl!’

“It was extraordinary! An immense joy for us! To fulfil our promise to Dona Lucilia, after the birth of four boys, we named our first daughter Maria Lucilia.”

Another “Lucilian” intervention: another baby girl!

Always exceedingly generous in response to requests made to her, Dona Lucilia obtained for Eriane the grace of being the mother of yet another baby girl. This time, however, the joys of motherhood were compounded by the sufferings of an illness that gave her the opportunity to once again experience the extreme solicitude of her heavenly protector.

In fact, this latest pregnancy was particularly complicated by the diagnosis of placenta percreta, a dangerous anomaly that poses a serious risk to the life of both the mother and the unborn child.

Moreover, Eriane suffered two serious haemorrhages, the first of which was so severe that she thought she had lost the baby. As a result, several doctors recommended abortion as a way of saving her life. She recounts one of these proposals: “After an ultrasound scan, the doctor said to me: ‘Look, you’ll have to have an abortion, otherwise you will die.’ I replied: ‘Doctor, the possibility of abortion does not exist. It is not an option! It is a criminal offence!’”

The doctors could insist as much as they liked about the how life-threatening the pregnancy was for her, but she was quite determined to follow the example of Dona Lucilia who, in a similar situation, preferred to save the life of her son Plinio, even at the cost of her own, and Eriane gave the doctor a categorical reply:

“Doctor, that is not a suggestion you make to a mother! You should not have even considered it! I will never kill a child of mine! Even if I have to die, I will not kill my child.”

Help to carry the cross to the end

In fact, Eriane had a much better solution to the problem: her confidence in Dona Lucilia’s help grew stronger and stronger; she was sure that this kind mother would take care of her and her daughter.

Even so, suffering and the lack of understanding shown by certain doctors would accompany Eriane throughout the long months of her pregnancy, but at no time did she lack Dona Lucilia’s support to carry this heavy cross.

“In short,” she says, “the pregnancy continued, during which I hardly ever got out of bed. I had to remain at rest: I could not exert myself, I could not walk much; I had to be careful with everything. And for a mother who has other children at home, this was very complicated. But Dona Lucilia never abandoned us.”

“I trust Dona Lucilia; everything will work out”

One day, while in São Paulo, Eriane had such severe bleeding that she had to be urgently taken to a hospital in the city of Caieiras. In view of the seriousness of her condition, the medical team decided to transfer her to the Hospital das Clínicas in São Paulo, where she could receive more specialized and safer treatment.

When she arrived, a specialist warned her straight away: “Look, the chances of you surviving this labour are very slim, very slim indeed.”

After giving her a detailed explanation, the same doctor suggested that she be hospitalized that very day, which was around twelve weeks before the due date. She replied:

“No, I am not going to be admitted to the hospital because I have other children. I am going to stay at home. I trust in Our Lady, I trust in Dona Lucilia, everything will work out.”

Despite the situation, and probably because Dona Lucilia was paving the way, the head doctor agreed with Eriane’s decision:

“Alright then, you’re going home, but you need to rest! And come back on January 2, so we can deliver the baby on the 3rd. Not another day! You are at risk, so be very careful!”

Constant support during her ordeal

So she returned home, spent Christmas and New Year with her family and returned to the hospital on the agreed day. “Then the sufferings began,” the story continues, “during which I prayed a lot, asking for Dona Lucilia’s help. The delivery operation began at seven o’clock in the morning and ended at five in the afternoon; I received at least seven pints of blood. But I felt many graces, I felt accompanied all the time by Dona Lucilia! It was as if she was saying to me: ‘My child, you are going through a great trial, but I am here. I’m here!’”

In truth, the life of every Christian must be a continuous assent to God’s will, towards full identification with the crucified Christ. And on the way to Calvary, all the sufferings that we can unite with His are eagerly harvested by Providence…

At the moment when the cross presents itself to us, let us not forget to raise our sights to Heaven: from there, as we hope, Dona Lucilia will help us

This was also the case with Eriane. After two days in intensive care, she was recovering in the ward, expecting to be discharged the next day, when she was diagnosed with a dangerous infection. Here is how she describes it:

“I was taken back to the ICU in order to do tests and fight the infection. As I started having convulsions, the doctors decided to do a CT scan and discovered that I had thrombosis. And all this on the eve of my discharge!

“After further tests, the doctors decided to open an access in my neck to inject medication, because my pressure had dropped dramatically and I was almost losing consciousness. But in the midst of all this – with the help of grace and the assistance of a Herald priest – at no time did I despair. I saw the doctors rushing around and my husband’s concern, but was able to maintain a very Lucilian serenity.

“I knew I would recover. When I started to worry about the other children or my husband, I would do a brief meditation, imagining that I was under Dona Lucilia’s shawl, hugged and comforted by her, and everything would pass.

“In the end, I came out of the ICU already recovering, taking antibiotics, but free of the intravenous access in my neck and so on. I saw my little girl again. After seventeen days in hospital, I was able to return home, taking Aurora de Maria with me.”

*     *     *

Man’s life on earth is a struggle, as the wise Job said (cf. Job 7:1) when, in the midst of atrocious suffering, he raised his eyes to God. Our journey towards Heaven, therefore, will always be bathed in suffering, sorrow and uncertainty.

At the moment when the cross presents itself to us, let us not forget to also raise our sights to Heaven, where Dona Lucilia’s kind gaze, as we hope, scans the horizon in search of children for whom to intercede! ◊



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