By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday spoke of the beatification, on the previous day, of Paraguayan Carmelite nun Maria Felicia de Jesus Sacramentado, saying that "her witness is an invitation to all young people, especially those from Paraguay, to live their lives with generosity, gentleness and joy".
The Pope's words came after the recitation of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square.
He said that the young woman, who lived during the first half of the 20th century and who died aged 34, “having accepted her illness with serenity”, dedicated her life to the care of the elderly, the sick and prison inmates.
“This fruitful experience of the apostolate, sustained by the daily Eucharist, led to her consecration to the Lord” he said.
Known affectionately as ‘Chiquitunga’ because of her small stature, Maria Felicia de Jesus Sacramentado was proclaimed a Blessed on Saturday 23 June by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Beatification Ceremony in Asuncion
During the Beatification Mass in Asuncion, Cardinal Amato said she “was always available to collaborate, help, for harmony.”
Thousands gathered in the Pablo Rojas stadium in Asuncion for the Mass during which Cardinal Amato read aloud a biography of Chiquitunga, saying: "She was a person who responded 100 percent to the call of her baptism and her faith was solid”.
"The witnesses speak of an immense, convinced, expansive faith that manifested daily in her obedience, her exquisite charity and in asking for forgiveness for her own mistakes and those of others" he said.
Chiquitunga is the first woman to be beatified in Paraguay.