Sr-Clara-Lazarus profetessa della gioia

“You are a prophetess of joy” this is what Rev. Fr. Gabriel Raja, SJ the main celebrant during the Funeral Mass of Sr. Clara Lazarus refereed her. He continued, “Wherever you went, whatever you did, whomsoever you met, you shared the joy of God.” True in deed! My memory goes back to the years 1992-1994, while as a Senior Secondary student, I met you in my home parish at Shiroda in Goa. It was a crucial time in my life, to discern God’s call and that too in an appropriate Religious Institute where the Charism and the mission was to be embraced by me for lifetime. I still remember, how you were accompanying us to the convent on Sundays after mass and furnishing us with special instructions. You gave us necessary information and needed encouragement to be future women missionaries.  

As a teenage girl, observing you from a distant, I perceived you as a tall, strong, simple, lofty, healthy, beautiful, determined, smiling sister, who could speak to us in our mother tongue although with a slightly different accent. Visiting our families in the villages on foot, you never grew tired of walking the difficult paths. You would wish everyone on the way, not minding if you were familiar with them or not. Furthermore, you had a beautiful way of entering into a dialogue in the families. Likewise, you were aware of the conditions they faced and would craft your message accordingly.

Lately again you were posted in Goa (2014-2021), and I had an opportune moment to be at home to take care of my ailing dad, who must be with you enjoying the Eternal abode. Here the second point of Fr. Gabriel got struck in me, “You loved the surrounding nature unconditionally and the nature loved you back, undoubtedly.” The herbal medicines that you prepared alleviated the pain of many who approached you.  You had a miraculous healing power because of which the infirm would say that your medicines, massage and therapies brought them relief. During this time, I found that many ailing would visit our convent to find solace in the medication you provided.

Today, at the funeral rite, your reminiscences make me smile. My observations from distant as a girl, later impressions as a sister and today’s examination standing before your lifeless body, makes me to salute you for the great virtue of resilience you lived. Smile was your outer garment; pain might have been the inner garment you were wrapped with, due to ailments, specially from past few years. Not minding the situations, you lived, you always smiled and made it contagious in the environment you lived. Beautifully, it is said, “People who relieve others pain are usually the most broken ones.”

Thank you for leaving behind the legacy. From heaven intercede for us that we may embark on a journey to face our lives head-on, knowing that within the depths of our souls, we possess the power to transcend and embrace a life infused with faith and courage.

Sr. Fabiola Fernandes


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