Venerable Sister Lindalva Justo de Oliveira
Daughter of Charity
 
Her birth
 
Lindalva was born on October 20, 1953, in a small village, north of Brazil.She was the 6th daughter of Joao Justo and Maria Lucia de Oliveira. She was baptized on January 7, 1954, at the parish church. On December 15, 1965, she was 11 years old when she received her first Holy Communion. She grew up in a Christian family and thus received essential Christian values. Since she was a little child she was sensitive to the less fortunate and she had a natural inclination to the sacred.
Lindalva began her studies in a rural area, then she went to Natal to finish her studies.
 
Her youth
 
Starting from 1971, she helped to raise her 3 nephews. When she finished her studies, she soon found a job. She helped the families of her brothers and sent money to her mother. She wouldn’t watch television in order to read her Bible in her room. Her friends and her parents tried to convince her to get married, but she always changed the subject by telling them that she already had 3 sons... her brother’s sons.
 
Her father’s departure
 
When her father felt that his end was near, he called his children and asked for a priest for the Anointing of the sick.
When the Sacrament was done, Joao blessed his children and urged them to persevere in the faith of the Lord and behave according to His will; the same day Joao passed away.
 
After her father died, Lindalva went to visit the Daughters of Charity more and more often.
Lindalva, usually a shy person, sometimes silent, became more joyful, full of life, glowing with happiness.  Why did she suddenly change?
 
Her natural availability to serve the poor people on the fringes of society grew until she totally devoted herself to the elderly people understanding that they were deprived of affection, sometimes abandoned; seeing Christ through her transformed her expression and the Home: joy entered with her!
 
Her vocation
 
When Lindalva went to the Home, the elderly people were waiting for her; She would enter singing, hugging a person here, kissing another one there. For each one of them she had a tender gesture. If she was asked to play the guitar, or sing a song or help, she did it  with pleasure. Nobody was aware of her charitable activities.
 
In 1987, Lindalva received the Sacrament of Confirmation ; in the same year she wrote to the Visitatrix to apply for admission to the Daughters of Charity for Postulancy in the Province of Recife, Brazil; serving Christ in the poor people according to the Charism of the Founders, Saint Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, was her deepest desire.
 
On July 16, 1989, she was accepted at the Seminary. So happy to wear the blue habit, she said: “ Yes, now I am a Daughter of Charity.”
 
The strength of her will and the blessing of the Lord led her on the path to perfection. Her desire to be faithful to the Lord in this mission made her more and more available, humble and charitable. Thus, step by step, her inner self was making progress...
 
Her desire to grow  in the Love of the Lord, of the poor people and of her community sisters was obvious. She enjoyed praying, she was obedient, joyful and understanding. She finished the seminary on  January 26, 1991, and her mission began at the Don Pedro II Home to work in a ward of 40 elderly people. She was assigned the male patients ward. She was competent and determined.
 
Sister Lindalva  undertook her tasks as an apostolic mission of words, testimony, listening. She cared for the patients’ spiritual and material well-being by encouraging their reception of the sacraments. Her quiet and humble behavior showed purity in her attitudes and she treated everybody with charity.
 
In addition to all her tasks, she still found time to visit the poor people home. The Lord, present in every human life, gave her strength.
 
She gave energy to all the people around her: her friends, her parents, the young people of the vocational group and above all to the sick. For everyone she had the right encouraging word at the right time.
 
Her martyrdom
 
In 1993, a certain Augusto, a 46-year-old man, managed to be admitted to the facility through the recommendation of another. Soon, he began to chase her and he became enamoured of her declaring his lustful intentions towards her. Sister Lindalva was getting frightened and she prudently distanced herself from him and was cautious in his regard. She told the other sisters about this and prayed. She didn’t want to leave the Home because of her love for the elderly.
On April 9, 1993, Good Friday, Sister Lindalva took part in the parish Way of the Cross at dawn with her community sisters and the parishioners . After that, she was back at work to prepare and serve breakfast as she did every day. As she was serving, she felt somebody touch her shoulder and she just had time to have a glimpse at the enraged face of Augusto.
He stabbed many times the innocent body of Sister Lindalva. She was lying in a pool of her own blood. Her death was the death of an innocent.
During the whole night, a crowd of  faithful, priests, religious, people from all social stations, coming from every part of the city went to the Home. On the morning of the next day, Holy Saturday, Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves celebrated the Sister's funeral. During the Easter Sunday Mass, he commented: “ A few years were enough for Sister Lindalva to crown her Religious life with martyrdom".
“Beautiful alb is the white piece of clothing she received for her baptism; beautiful alb is the blue habit of Daughter of Charity, now bathed in the Blood of the Lamb” (see Ap7, 14).

 

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