The “Quadrinho” of Dona Lucilia – Ineffable Presence

Providence wanted an archetypal representation of Dona Lucilia that would convey her smile and gaze, overflowing with affection, to those in need of help and support. This is its story.

There are certain places on earth which, by a mysterious design of Providence, have been indelibly marked by people. Visitors who pass by them feel, in the warmth of the stones, the swaying of the trees and even in the shadows cast upon the ground, something of the divine blessings and lights that flooded the virtuous souls who lived and suffered there…

When visiting the famous Roman Colosseum, for example, where the dust of the centuries has been unable to erase the glorious memory of the martyrs’ blood, many venerate with enthusiasm and awe the stones that witnessed the magnificent and tragic ascent of so many righteous souls to Heaven.

How many other places marked by the suffering of the elect are there in the world? Dona Lucilia’s residence is one of them. An aristocratic but discreet environment, imbued with the glories of the past and bearing unsuspected wonders for the future, those who enter it feel they are somehow entering Dona Lucilia’s heart, even without finding her there physically…

However, more than within the blessed walls of her earthly home, she wanted to make herself present to her loved ones in a simple object in which, from eternity, she allowed herself to be “photographed”. This is the reality that we behold in what is called the “Quadrinho”.

It is a small oil painting by a young disciple1 of Dr. Plinio at the time, based on her last photographs. The finished result had not fully satisfied the still inexperienced painter, but after months of hesitation, he decided to send it as a gift to his spiritual father.

By a mysterious working of grace, the latter was very pleased with the painting. Surprising the painter himself, who later did not recognize his own work, Dr. Plinio confirmed that it faithfully expressed the features and spirit of his loving mother.

Indeed, how can one not be moved by a figure of such gentleness, who diffuses a halo of silvery-lilac light around her?

Like the different shades of sunset that paint a unique spectacle in the sky, the physiognomy depicted in the “Quadrinho” is an unum of the virtues of a Catholic lady, combined with the attributes of a true mother: unshakeable faith, integrity and firmness of principle, unselfish generosity, boundless kindness, majesty and dignity, maternal affection, understanding and compassion… She is depicted with a tender simplicity that makes one feel the intimacy of her company.

The caress of her velvety gaze is an ointment for the afflicted and the suffering. Any troubled soul who approaches her will invariably find a warm welcome, no matter how bad the case or how dark the situation. Her unceasing smile reveals her ability to obtain a merciful pardon for the sinner from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and imparts consolation in pain, strength in trial, security in uncertainty, calm, serenity, peace and resignation…

Dona Lucilia refined her noblest virtues in a life cadenced and ordered according to God, in the painful isolation of an ambience alien to the commotion of the revolutionary world; she always remained in command of herself, convinced of her stance in the good, like a firm stone against which the waves of the sudden social changes of her time broke. Everything passed, she remained! Not, however, as a figure from a bygone era, but as the lady-symbol of a historical era that is yet to come.

“Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel” (Mt 5:15). God, who makes so many stars to shine in the sky, knows the right moment to glorify His righteous ones in the firmament of history. In this countenance, therefore, there is a light: Lucilia! Countless testimonies show how she is already shining within hearts, as a true luminous link that unites her devotees to Our Lady and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. ◊



1 Mr. Hermelindo Busarello, who died on April 15, 2020.



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