Blessed Assunta knew in her heart, that God loved her deeply and through this knowledge she was able to accept all the difficulties in life by stating that:
“Even in the midst of crosses and tribulations, I am pleased and thank the Lord who makes me suffer in this world so as to save me for eternity” (Letter from Mother Assunta Marchetti to Fr. Faustino Consoni, 1/21/1921).
Only someone who accepts and bears their cross can attend to the needs of others, she was able to carry her cross with great courage, strength and the certainty of faith that “with God all things are possible.” We all have our crosses to carry and Blessed Assunta was no different. She was able to carry her cross and burdens that were placed upon her shoulders, just like Jesus on calvary. But, as we know from scripture Jesus had help, He had Simon of Cyrene (Mk 15:21), and so did Blessed Assunta, she daily had the Eucharistic Lord to help her carry her cross as His apostle.
Like Jesus and Blessed Assunta, at times we are asked and compelled to help carry not only our cross, but someone’s else’s. By lending a helping hand, listening to their suffering hearts and even at times walk beside them in their own calvary. For scripture says: “we must endure many trials before entering Gods Kingdom” (Acts 14:21). How difficult at times this must have been for her. So, much suffering in the world, so many people carrying heavy burdens, such pain and suffering!
I am sure that at times Blessed Assunta’s heart was not able to hold the suffering and the pain of so many in destitute. Whether ministering at the orphanage, or going to the fazendas in Brazil. Her heart must have been broken, as she tried to comfort and mend so many hearts. By doing so, scares occur and they become noticeable and a reminder that she is an apostle of Christ to help in any way possible those who suffer. It could have been a sick person in bed, a migrant in a foreign land, a sick child in the orphanage or even her sisters in community. We know that Blessed Assunta was able to see the face of Christ in all those that she served. She had learned, at a young age that certain virtues are achieved amid difficulties. We can hear the words of our founder Blessed Scalabrini, saying to her, “virtue is a flower that on earth, only grows among thorns.”
What does this all mean? It means that like Blessed Assunta, we are called to carry the cross and burdens with Jesus and not apart from Him. To help others with their burdens and crosses especially our migrant sisters and brothers beyond borders and continents as she did. The message is to let them know that they are loved by God and that God journeys with them in the here and now, for they are not alone, ever. For God continues to be with each one of us and with them, especially in their daily sufferings and struggles to survive another day, another hour, another millisecond. Just as Jesus carried His cross to calvary, so too, He helps carry our own cross daily and those of others. For we are not alone, ever!
Blessed Assunta was called, as we are called to hold the mystery of pain and suffering, to be willing to look at it in the eye and learn from it. To look upon the mystery of the divine and human suffering which can lead us to a mysterious compassion and perception. For to gaze upon the image of the crucified Lord will help us palpate God’s heart beat and those whom we encounter on the road of life. Such journeys are sacred and not easily forgotten, for they leave an imprinted on the heart. As it left an imprint on Blessed Assunta’s heart, as she continued to accept and overcome hardships in life by ministering selflessly. She use to say, “God tests us, but He doesn’t abandon us.”
Blessed Assunta continues to encourage us, in our ministry, in our silence and in our prayer life. She never despaired nor renounced trials and sufferings, for she knew that the resurrection awaited her as she placed all her trust in God. For like St. Paul, she also echoed: “it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). She was able to receive strength and courage for her mission through a life of prayer, the Eucharistic Lord and the Rosary.
Let us not forget that as Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters our motto is that, “we are messengers of HOPE, in all the corners of the world, Scalabrinians on the go, with the migrants we go, we are messengers of HOPE, women of courage and faith, Scalabrinians we are called to love and serve in the Lord” (A Scalabrinian Song).
Prayer: Through the intercession of Blessed Assunta, we ask our Lord to accompany us in our suffering and to help us carry our cross. Jesus tells us ‘not to be afraid,’ to daily carry our cross. Blessed Assunta help us to persevere and to trust in His Divine providence as you did. Do not let us despair during challenging times as we help carry each other’s burdens. Help us to be strong, courageous, compassionate, merciful, loving to those we serve and in our communities, and to always be faithful to the Divine Heart of Jesus as Consecrated Scalabrinian Religious Women beyond borders and continents. Amen
Sister M. Noemia Silva, mscs – A Scalabrinian Missionary Sister
April 25, 2021 – World Day of Vocations