From the Caribbean to Marie Poussepin

on 20 May, 2020
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Venezuela, 05/20/2020.- From the Caribbean they share a prayer and a letter addressed to Marie Poussepin.


Lord, you who opened my eyes, you filled my heart with compassion
And you instilled courage in my feet, to reach out to my brothers and sisters;
For my daughters, I ask you for ardor, passion and trust in you, so that they may be filled with strength,
And overcome fear and anguish;
So that their hands may be generous and support in solidarity those who at this time of the pandemic need your company and love.

You did not walk away Lord… you gave to eat, healed the sick,
Comforted the weak and raised the dead.
Your compassionate hands gave the warmth of love,
Even the sinner you looked at with tenderness…
What can my daughters do at this time?...

To meet you… to look deep into you…
To look into your eyes, to read your anguish for humanity.
To be filled with you, to awaken solidarity in those who can do it,
And at the foot of the cross collect your spilled blood,
To cleanse with it, the brother and sister in need.

May their daily sacrifice offered to you, be the scented incense,
That comes with prayer,
To the hospitals, homes and care centers where there is a sick person,
To give positive energy to doctors, nurses and the sick,
Who struggle to maintain that breath of life which unites them to you…
I would like to ask you Lord, for the sensitivity of the one who loves,
The positive energy of the one who discovers love,
May never fail in my sisters,
To instill strength and joy, to the children and adults,
The old and sick with the revitalizing power of love.

Walk with my daughters, as you did in Emmaus with your disciples,
Inflame their hearts,
So that they will not be infected with fear and indifference,
If not that, their heart be kindled with love, to discover you in their brothers and sisters,
Whatever may be their situation,
And they can in Community tell each other about love and start the fire of Charity.

Sr. Berta del Carmen Marín Artigas
Community of Mérida-Venezuela


Dear Marie, 25 years ago I dreamt of studying in a small school, in a popular sector of Maracaibo, called Marie Poussepin. It was part of the family tradition…many of my cousins studied there…the descendants of Pérez family.

Finally, the day arrived! Today as I remember it, my heart overflows with joy. There, it all began. No idea who you were…in those first years I learnt to pronounce and write your name…it was a new language different from my Spanish. As time passed by, I discovered that you were not the foundress of the school, but of the community of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation.

I remember that when we were little, we used to read and color a simple book entitled “Una mujer al Servicio de la Caridad” (A woman at the service of Charity)…I never forgot its cover, it reflected a sister like the ones at School, on a journey, carrying a knapsack on her shoulder, with her eyes fixed on “God Alone” in the horizon and in Him our brothers and sisters, the recipients of our mission…its content spoke of the joyful moments and the sorrows of your life…for me as a child, it was very impressive to read that you had been orphaned by your mother at a very young age and that out of all your brothers only one survived. It challenged me on the value of family…you did not have them all for a long time…but the short time that you spent together, marked you enormously, you drank from your mother’s source the water of charity…

Do you know that I learned to relate to God through your prayer? A very dynamic sister taught us to sing that refrain with which you praised God each morning with great enthusiasm and invited us to sing: “La hermosa alabanza queremos repetir, contigo Mère Poussepin contigo hasta morir. Gloria al Padre, Gloria al Hijo, Gloria al Espíritu Santo” (The beautiful praise we want to repeat with you Mother Poussepin, with you till we die, Glory to the Father, Glory to the Son, Glory to the Holy Spirit) and thus in this Trinitarian praise, I learned to contemplate  God as a Family and Community. Each time that I recite it, I remember what one of your daughters sowed in me, without knowing what would become of it. As in that Biblical passage: “ It is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.”  (Cf. Mk. 4: 26 – 34), this seed that she sowed in so many hearts, has blossomed for the good in my experience of faith.                                                                    

During my recreation times, in the chapel or in whichever corner of the school, I found your face, always serene, filled with goodness, deep and very much like God…From contemplating it so much, I remembered your birth and your definitive meeting with the Father…

The witness of the Sisters with whom I shared my basic education, awakened in me a desire which I had felt since I was very young: to question myself about my religious vocation. Being with them, my faith was strengthened; I participated in my first mission where I met the face of the poor, the Lord’s favorites… I went out to meet the sick; I began my parish experience and I learned to love the Eucharist; I began to understand this Providence of God to whom you and your daughters surrendered themselves. Today, when I write these lines to you, I feel like I am also one of your daughters. I am a sister of the Family of the Presentation, loving and willing to live from the source of your Charism and spirituality.

Today in my fourth year of religious consecration, at moments of crosses, fear, doubt, restlessness, joy and gratitude, in the silence of my cell, I speak to you like a friend, like an older sister; you know well that your face has changed to be a presence; you continue to give me the same peace as years ago in the heart of a little girl…and I feel your fraternal embrace filled with tenderness and mercy. I contemplate you and see in your arms the Word of God and the Rule of Sainville from which you nourished your spirituality and Charism which became the living incarnation of the love you gave with full hands…they are also my spiritual sources, strengthening both my faith and consecration.  

What I do not share with you in this daily dialogue? Today we are in situations similar to what you lived in your time: “hunger, pestilence, war, ignorance…;” for us your sisters, the world pandemic disrupts us. In the name of this friendship woven in silences, glances, witnesses…I ask you to help me to be “firm in faith, unwavering in hope and generous in charity” and to know how to welcome this new Sainville to which the whole of humanity has been converted...

Sr. Mayleana M. Pérez V., from Venezuela