Messagère du Cœur Immaculé de Marie
née le 24 octobre 1860 à Lombo dos Aguiares
morte le 17 janvier 1929 à Lombo dos Aguiares
Le 15 août 1913, jour de la Fête de l’Assomption (officieuse depuis 14 siècles avant la proclamation officielle du Pape Pie XII, le 1er novembre 1950), la Vierge Marie a annoncé à Mère Virginia qu’Elle la choisissait comme disciple de Son Cœur Immaculé (comme Marguerite-Marie Alacoque l’avait été avec le Sacré-Cœur de Son Divin Fils Jésus, dixit Marie), en réparation, par l’amour de Mère Virginia, des offenses et des outrages continuels de Ses enfants pécheurs, afin qu’Elle soit connue et aimée, en leur révélant les trésors de Grâces dont cette Mère de Bonté désirait les enrichir.
Neuvaine à Mère Virginia Brites de la Passion
Seigneur Miséricordieux, qui avez choisi Sœur Virginia Brites de la Passion pour vivre en union intime avec Vous, afin de manifester aux hommes la joie de Vous connaître et de Vous aimer, et afin de répandre la dévotion au Cœur Immaculé de Marie, nous Vous prions, dans Votre Bonté paternelle, d’exaucer notre prière.
Par les mérites infinis du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus et par le Cœur Immaculé de Marie, je Vous prie, si c'est pour Votre plus grande Gloire et pour le bien de nos âmes, de daigner glorifier Sœur Virginia sur les autels de la Sainte Église, en nous accordant, par son intercession, la grâce que nous Vous demandons. Ainsi soit-il !
"Notre Père", "Je Vous salue Marie", "Gloire au Père".
Prière traduite du Portugais le dimanche 4 août 2013, en la Fête du Saint Curé d’Ars.
Prière au Très Saint Sacrement
composée par Mère Virginia Brites de la Passion
Ô divin Jésus, ô mon très doux Sauveur, je Vous offre cette heure de prière, d'amour et de réparation, pendant laquelle je serai en union avec le Cœur Immaculé de Marie.
Je désire de tout mon cœur Vous aimer, Vous glorifier, et surtout consoler Votre Cœur adorable avec mon amour. Acceptez, par cette intention, ô divin Jésus dans le Très Saint Sacrement, mes pensées, mes paroles, mes actions, mes sacrifices et mon labeur.
Recevez surtout, ô mon divin Seigneur, mon pauvre petit cœur que je Vous donne, en Vous suppliant de m’embraser du feu de Votre Amour !
Ô mon Jésus dans le Très Saint Sacrement, je ne suis rien en Votre présence adorable, mais je Vous prie humblement d’embraser aussi les âmes qui s’associeront à cette prière en réparation de Votre Sacrement d’Amour.
Je Vous prie aussi, ô Jésus, pour l'humanité tout entière. Embrasez-la du feu de Votre Amour, afin qu'un jour, nous puissions aller jouir de Votre aimable compagnie dans la patrie céleste pour l'éternité. Ainsi soit-il !
Prière traduite du Portugais le dimanche 4 août 2013, en la Fête du Saint Curé d’Ars.
«Eu te elejo hoje por discípula caríssima do meu Imaculado Coração como o foi Margarida Maria do Coração do meu divino Jesus, a fim de desagravares com o teu amor este meu Imaculado Coração dos ultrajes e seres o canal por onde chegue até aos representantes do meu Filho Santíssimo na Terra, os desejos ardentíssimos do Seu e meu Puríssimo Coração com que continuamente me ofendem os meus filhos pecadores, me faças deles bem conhecido e amado, revelando-lhes os tesouros de graças com que esta Mãe bondosa os deseja enriquecer.»
Palavras de Nossa Senhora a Madre Virgínia a 15 de Agosto de 1913, dia da Festa de Nossa Senhora do Monte.
Novena a Madre Virgínia Brites da Paixão
Senhor Misericordioso, que escolhestes a Irmã Virgínia Brites da Paixão para viver em íntima união convosco, para manifestar aos homens a alegria de Vos conhecer e amar, e difundir a devoção ao Imaculado Coração de Maria, nós Vos pedimos que, com paternal bondade, atendais a nossa oração.
Pelos méritos infinitos do Sagrado Coração de Jesus e pelo Imaculado Coração de Maria, peço-Vos que, se for para vossa maior glória e bem das nossas almas, Vos digneis glorificar diante da Santa Igreja a Irmã Virgínia, concedendo-nos, por sua intercessão, a graça que Vos pedimos. Assim seja.
Pai Nosso, Avé Maria e Glória.
Para comunicar graças recebidas ou pedir qualquer esclarecimento pode dirigir-se a:
Secretariado de Canonização da Madre Virgínia
Mosteiro de Nossa Senhora da Piedade
Caminho do Convento da Caldeira, 2
9300-402 Câmara de Lobos, Madeira
Telef.: 291 942 285 Fax: 291 941 985
Oração ao Santíssimo Sacramento
(composta pela Madre Virgínia)
«Ó divino Jesus, ó meu dulcíssimo Salvador, eu Vos ofereço esta hora de oração, de amor e reparação, durante a qual estarei em união com o Imaculado Coração de Maria.
Desejo de todo o coração amar-Vos, glorificar-Vos, e principalmente consolar o Vosso adorável Coração, com o meu Amor! Aceitai por esta intenção, ó divino Jesus Sacramentado, os meus pensamentos, palavras, acções, sacrifícios e trabalhos.
Recebei, sobretudo, meu divino Senhor, o meu pobre e pequenino coração que Vos dou, suplicando-Vos que o abraseis no fogo do vosso amor!
Ó meu Jesus Sacramentado, não sou nada na vossa adorável presença, mas humildemente Vos peço que abraseis também as almas que se associaram a esta oração a fim de desagravar-Vos nesse Sacramento de amor.
Também Vos peço, ó Jesus, por toda a humanidade. Abrasai-a no fogo do vosso amor, para que um dia possamos ir gozar da Vossa amável companhia na pátria celestial por toda a eternidade. Assim seja.»
Devoção dos Primeiros Sábados
Imaculado Coração de Maria
Santuário da Humanidade
No primeiro Sábado de cada mês, cristão devotos vão louvar,
Em uníssono cantam “Hossana nas Alturas”, gloriosa sejais Rainha!
À Santíssima Virgem, precioso diamante irradiando luz no altar;
Ouve-se a voz de Deus Pai, sarça ardente na verdejante colina!...
Dogma da Assunção de Maria ao Céu, em corpo, alma e coração,
Serva de Deus iniciaste a devoção ao culto Mariano na Madeira.
Numa capelinha humilde, renasceu a fé na Madre Virgínia da Paixão...
Hoje milhões de católicos veneram a Virgem Maria na terra inteira.
Dom António Manuel Pereira Ribeiro, foi o digníssimo fundador
Da Paróquia e da Igreja do Imaculado Coração de Maria,
Com donativos de madeirenses e emigrantes repletos de fervor,
Glória a Deus Pai! Anjos e Arcanjos tocam harpas ao meio-dia...
“SPES MEA REFUGIUM MEU”, gravado junto aos seus restos mortais...
Dom António Ribeiro, descansa em paz ao lado do Coração de Jesus.
No seu brasão de armas, imperam dois Santos Corações celestiais...
O Coração de Maria e o Sagrado Coração do Rei morto na cruz...!
Numa encosta da cidade, foi construído o templo sagrado do Senhor;
Em plena natureza, com pilares alicerçados peia fé da população!
Do Monte irradia para todo o Mundo a mensageira do amor...
A Rainha Imaculada impera no trono majestoso da nossa Nação!...
Madre Virgínia, ouviste Jesus antes de Maria aparecer na Cova da Iria;
Peço-vos: amem o Imaculado Coração de Minha Mãe, dogma de fé!...
Interiorizamos a mensagem Divina do teu Sacratíssimo Jesus...
Para prestarmos o culto Universal, à Virgem Mãe de Jesus de Nazaré!
Peanha dos Imaculados pés, pedestal da Imagem em mármore branco,
Esculpido espiritualmente, o Coração de Maria, Mãe do Messias...
Símbolo de santidade e pureza, dádiva do Divino Espírito Santo...
A Madre Virgínia, rejubila no Paraíso ouvindo as Avé-Marias!
“Santa Freirinha”, cultivaste a Seara de Deus, com fé e humildade...
Uma vida de Amor! Adoraste Deus vivo, acreditaste na Ressurreição!
Centenas de peregrinos convergem ao Santuário da Humanidade
Para adorarem o Santíssimo Sacramento e o Imaculado Coração!...
O “Senhor da Paciência” irradia misericórdia na Sua divina morada
Com Maria para a Vida! Junto à cruz de Jesus Cristo Nosso Senhor
Recitamos o terço à nossa Bendita Mãe do Céu, Mulher consagrada.
Por sua intercessão recebemos graças, olhar maternal, fonte de amor!...
Perante o Sagrado Coração de Jesus, Filho do Altíssimo a jubilar,
Realiza-se a Sagrada Eucaristia, entoando cânticos e orações.
Santa Madre Virgínia Brites da Paixão, serás venerada no altar;
A tua aura de santidade, ficou gravada nos nossos corações...!
No século dezanove, nasceu em Santo António, predestinada criança.
Humildemente chegou à Ilha da Madeira, com uma nobre missão:
Madre Virgínia da Paixão, vieste anunciar a mensagem de esperança,
Difundir em todo o Mundo o culto público ao Imaculado Coração!...
Funchal, 13 de Maio de 2008
Ana Maria Andrade
Mother Superior Virgínia Brites da Paixão
Girlhood and life at the monastery of Nossa Senhora das Mercês
Virgínia da Silva was born in Madeira, at Lombo dos Aguiares, a place close to Funchal, on October 24th 1860. Her parents, highly respected and deeply spiritual people, gave to their daughter, the last of nine brothers, a good human and religious education.
At the age of five she started to attend Sunday school and at seven the elementary school that, being located on an annexe of the parish church, gave her the possibility of participating on Mass and partaking of Holy Communion daily. When she had her First Communion, she felt in an unspeakable way the presence of the Lord.
Around the age of twelve she started to feel a deep desire to consecrate herself to the Lord. Virgínia prayed, asked for the God’s light and the help of the Most Holy Mother. At fifteen years old she trusted her spiritual guidance to Father Ernesto João Schmitz and started her discernment journey. When she turned sixteen she joined the monastery of Nossa Senhora das Mercês, in Funchal, where the young woman found the the environment she had dreamed of. Community life was, without any doubts, austere and full of demands, but it answered to the eagerness of her heart, offered her the possibility of living in intimacy with her Lord, of praying, of sacrificing herself for the entire mankind, and for the fervent young lady, this was worth more than all the well being, more than all the pleasures of the world.
Nonetheless, the ideological and political ambience that existed in Portugal at the time was not favourable to the religious life. The religious communities were extinct but the monastery of Nossa Senhora das Mercês, in Funchal, kept itself active until 1910, for the sanctity of the nuns and the tolerance of local authorities. It is no wonder, then, that the community demanded of its novitiates vocational conviction and spiritual deepness. Virgínia da Silva had to wait until she was twenty one years old to receive the religious habit, which happened on February 26th 1881. Two years later, on November 1st 1883, the Sister Virgínia Brites da Paixão could do her religious profession, to which presided D. Manuel Agostinho Barreto, bishop of Funchal.
Truly an Eucharistic soul, she felt irresistibly compelled to keep company to Jesus on His tabernacle of love. On that loving intimacy with Our Lord she manifested Him her deep desire of partaking His Passion’s sufferings, of comforting Him and to redress Him for men’s ingratitude and forgetfulness. From the contemplation of the Passion of Christ arouse in her the big desire to sacrifice herself, to give herself to God without reservation. Next to Senhor da Paciência, a very expressive sculpture that depicted the Lord on His Passion’s painful steps, she spent long hours and with Him she communicated familiarly. The tradition refers that this magnificent Christ often spoke to her, to giving vent to his sorrows and asking for the availability of her heart. Jesus had over her very intimate and particular intentions: He had an important message to convey to her: to increment in the world the public cult to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Despite the manifestations with which Jesus and his Most Holy Mother would privilege her, despite the graces she often received, Sister Virgínia kept herself simple and humble, aware of her smallness, faults and limitations. She liked to go unnoticed. She would push away of herself any shadow of self sufficiency or pride. On her contacts with Jesus and the Most Holy Virgin she was always the “unworthy and ignorant”, the “poor and miserable sinner”, the “poor soul”.
She was very devoted to the souls in purgatory and, as she knew well how much it pleased Jesus and His Most Holy Mother her generosity towards them, she felt happy for lessening their sufferings, offering them in suffrage not only the holy Mass, her communions and prayers, but also all the volunteer sacrifices that she could do for them. How much she sacrificed herself for this cause!
With the simplicity and humbleness very dear to her, in the monastery she assumed responsibilities that were asked to her with a lot of love and donation. She was the novitiates master, vicar and secretary, in several triennials. In 1909 she was elected as abbess, position that she took unwillingly. She accepted by recognising that it was the divine wish, but not without suffering, confusion and sorrow, for she considered herself unworthy for the position of such responsibility. Furthermore, she knew the political and social difficulties the country was going through. Jesus and his Most Holy Mother, preparing her for the sacrifice, on their intimate communications, revealed to her the political transformation that was going to take place in Portugal – the proclamation of the Republic – and the consequent expulsion of the nuns.
The nuns who survived her death spoke with admiration about the way in which she performed her office and of the courage she had always shown. With such charity she paid attention to them all... Sister among the Sisters, servant and mother of all, Mother Superior Virgínia looked upon her fellow nuns with a deep respect, almost veneration, and she related with each single one with a delicate tenderness. Without noticing that, her life set the example, her sainthood irradiated, contaminated, was evident. The perfume of her virtues was felt inside and outside the walls of the closure. A year went by.
On October 5th 1910 the Republic was implanted, starting then an anti-religious regime. The republicans ordered, immediately, the enclosing of all monasteries and the expulsion of its members.
It is not possible to have an idea of the sadness that embittered the poor nuns in those days, in which at every hour, they awaited the painful expulsion order. Unending days, full of pain, of suffering!...
The time had come...
On the night of 13th to 14th of October, the Mother Superior Virgínia and her Sisters, with the heart compressed by the pain, are forced to leave. Some covered bullocks that awaited them at the lobby of the monastery took them to São Lourenço’s fortress.
All had been consummated!...
At the fortress they went through humiliations and insults. Mother Superior Virgínia, as abbess and good mother, felt in her heart all the pain, all the bitterness of each one of her beloved Sisters. Now, there they were, awaiting some relative that would go there and pick them up.
The public cult to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Mother Superior established herself at Lombo dos Aguiares, on the house that had belonged to her parents, in conformity with Jesus’ order: “It is to there that I do send you.”
Shortly, as a consequence of the diligences done by the Mother Superior, the fifteen nuns formed two well united groups, located at Câmara de Lobos. For this purpose two houses belonging to relatives of the nuns were used, where the Mother Superior appeared every time the charity thus demanded.
At the house of Palmeira and of Caldeira, the action of Mother Superior Virgínia was so quick and maternal that the Sisters immediately tried to adjust to the new situation. With an organized schedule, they prayed and worked, with the certainty that, over there, they could also love and praise the Lord, and be of spiritual help to mankind. When the Mother Superior would sojourn in Palmeira, the three Sisters who lived nearby or in the houses of their relatives would go there. Thus, all took advantage of the exhortations of the Mother Superior. With her they prayed and worked. It was a period of renovation, of mutual encouragement. They all became stronger and full of confidence in the Father. They would have their own monastery where they would retake their contemplative life in closure!...
This way no Clarisse Sister felt isolated or independent, but always in communication with the others, and, especially, with Mother Superior Virgínia, who with them kept the necessary epistolary contact and with them would reunite every time she could afford.
With this care towards her Sisters she conjugated her life of prayer and sacrifice at home, observing the possible closure. Soon she gained the esteem, we could even say, the worship, of the inhabitants of that place. The simple people of the area felt the perfume of her virtues, the scent of her sainthood. The fame of the “holy little nun”, as would call her the good Madeiran people, early started to widespread and started to gather around her many people who looked for her spiritual help.
Convinced that the suffering has redemptory dimensions, she looked forward to accept it lovingly. On this painful situation, she sought to live with perfection as when she was in the monastery, i. e., on the faithful compliance to her vows and in the exact observance of her Rule. She not even dispensed herself of following a strict schedule, resembling the monastery’s regulations. With a lot of faith, humbleness and love, Mother Superior Virgínia tried to offer all her sacrifices to the Lord, so that He, in His goodness and mercy, blessed the humanity with his graces, and also for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the souls of purgatory, of whom she was very devoted to.
A profoundly Eucharistic soul, she suffered a lot whit the departure from the monastery!
Now Jesus Eucharist was far!... Only down there, at the church of Santo António, could she find Him.
The church of Santo António was two kilometres away from her house, measuring the steep road, that goes from the bottom to the top of Lombo dos Aguiares, one kilometre. Despite the distance and altitude, even when her health was not good and the strengths started to abandon her body, she kept on treading that path, on which she spent a few hours. Her assiduous participation on the spiritual life of the parish, her fervour, her simple posture on praying, she spoke to everyone about God and in everybody she infused a great respect. Under her influence the exposures of the Blessed Sacrament and periods of adoration in church became more frequent. Her presence was an example and a strong stimulus for the parish community. On these occasions, Mother Superior Virgínia remained on the church throughout all the time and, even if she was tired, she always remained kneeled down and with the maximum respect. On Fridays she would stay until 3 p. m., experiencing the mystical Passion of Christ.
As Mother Superior Virgínia was used to pray and sacrifice herself for her brothers in Christ, she was very attentive to the needs of the sick and moribund of the surrounding area, to whom she tried to give her care, and above all, to help with her prayer and, if necessary, with her presence. There are a lot of examples of real conversions operated through her.
But the great message conveyed to Mother Superior Virgínia Brites da Paixão was the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, its public cult on the Church. To this nun were revealed the means to be used, as channels of grace: Fraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the use of the scapular of the same Immaculate Heart, the practice of the first Saturdays, the definition of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin to Heaven as a dogma of faith and the construction of a temple dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “You shall be for the Immaculate Heart of My Most Saint Mother, what Margarida Maria was for my Divine Heart”, said Jesus to her.
On April 16th 1913, after partaking the communion, Jesus disclosed the following in confidence to her:
“My daughter, my Divine Heart has an ardent desire that the Heart of my most pure Mother be known, loved and redressed with a public cult, just as my Divine Heart is honored and redressed. I wish (...) that it be spread and this tender devotion be established among men, so that (...) they reach God’s mercy (...) My simple daughter, have confidence and courage. The soul of whom I will use for the manifestation of these merciful wishes of mine is yours (...) It will be through you and your confessor, that this cult will spread throughout the world”
Shortly after, on the Corpus Christi day, approaching her to His Divine Heart, Jesus insists:
“This Heart of Mine that has loved men so much and by them is so little loved, encloses within itself an immense wealth, a treasure of abundant graces and my wish is to communicate them to men (...) My daughter, do you know what is that treasure and that wealth that my Heart encloses? It is the Immaculate Heart of my most pure Mother. This heart, (...) so burnt by love for his sons, the poor sinners, who can no longer contain the flames of its ardent charity, wishes to communicate them to the souls (...). I want you to meet your Bishop and tell him about the wishes of my Heart and of my Immaculate Mother (...).
On August 15th 1913, after Jesus had asked the nun to accept in her heart the message of Her Mother, the Most Saint Virgin tells her:
“My daughter, (...) my Immaculate Heart wishes to be known and loved, redressed and celebrated, like my Son’s (...) This Heart can no longer contain the flames of its ardent charity for the men my sons; it is full of graces to be shared with them; (...) It is my Son’s wishes and of my Immaculate Heart that it is through you and your confessor that my most pure Heart has in the world a public and universal cult, similar to the one of the Heart of my Jesus, so that more efficiently I may perform among men my mission of Mother and haven of sinners.
Despite the fact that these revelations were not made public at the time, in the parish of Santo António the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary started to grow. On November 1st 1913 the Guard of Honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was already formed. Initially it was made of twelve disciples of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that would consecrate one hour of the day or night to the Immaculate Heart as a gesture of love and redress. Since then, on every first Saturdays of the month, the holy sacrifice of the Mass started to be celebrated as a redress and reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
Animated with the enthusiasm that the faithful manifested, Father João Prudêncio, confessor of the nun, funded on the same parish, with the consent of the bishop of Funchal, the Fraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, canonically erected on January 18th 1916. Each member should attend regularly the sacraments, be committed on the practice of the Christian virtues and offer to God the works of each day in union with the Immaculate Heart. The members of the Fraternity would get the white scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
On the parish of São Pedro, in Funchal, this Marian cult spread under the influence and dynamism of Monsignor Paiva, a big devout of the Most Saint Mother. The admissions to the Fraternity, the reception of the scapular and the devotion of the firs Saturdays became generalized practices and were lived with great fervour. This love to the Immaculate Heart of Mary soon irradiated to other places on the island, to the Mainland, and to abroad.
The devotion to the Immaculate Heart, so desired by Jesus, started to grow; its public cult started to be established in the island of Madeira as an answer to the request of the Most Saint Virgin and her Son Jesus to the Mother Superior Virgínia Brites da Paixão. D. António Manuel Pereira Ribeiro, bishop of Funchal, understood the message, welcomed it respectfully and made it arrive to Pope Benedict XV. The same bishop attributed canonical erection to the Fraternity and approved the respective by-laws in several parishes of the island.
The white scapular of Immaculate Heart of Mary awoke great enthusiasm in Madeira. Entire families received it with love and devotion, as confided some of its residents. Its use also spread among the Madeiran immigrants in the United States and other countries, as well as in Spain through the Austrian imperial family, where the widow empress and his sons settled after the death of the Emperor Charles of Austria.
To Benedict XV arrived also Jesus’ desire, trusted to the same nun, that the Assumption of Mary to Heaven, in body and soul, would be declared as dogma of faith and that in Funchal a temple dedicated to the Immaculate Heart would be built up.
This construction appeared, however, in Rome, where the same Pope Benedict XV, informed about the message, acquired some land that afterwards Pius XI gave to the Claretian Priests with the compromise of building in it an international votive temple to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
After 1920 the health of Mother Superior Virgínia started to decline, continuing though to live with fervour and even austerity. She died on January 17th 1929. For the troubled world of her time, but thirsty for God, the life of the Mother Superior, impregnated with faith, courage and hope, was a sign of Christ and Mary’s deep love for men.
Upon returning to her relatives’ home, Mother Superior lives for nineteen years a life of closure without a cloister, amidst the world, away from the parish church and of her beloved Sisters, although she had with them frequent contacts.
The Mother Superior, committed and faithful, although always dreaming of the cloister, was an Eucharistic soul, a solid rock that, in hope and peace, knew how to give her hand to everyone and lead them in paths of ascension to the Lord. On the prolonged hours of Eucharistic prayer, day and night, on the loving and voluntary penance, on the spiritual guidance, on the charity towards her religious Sisters, her relatives and neighbours, on the intercession next to God for the sick and poor, on the assistance to the moribund, she spent her days in a beautiful and heroic way. She knew how to take in her heart the joys and the most pressing pains of her time to lead them to the Father. For the wounds of others, her prayer and his comforting words were a balsam, light that came from Christ and lead to Christ.
The people who knew her, from the highest society to the simple and good people of the island, anticipating themselves to the voice of the Church, were canonizing her while she lived. For those who did not know her name, but knew the fame she had and by it they fed a well deserved veneration, the Mother Superior was always their “holy little nun”.
1 Mother Superior Virgínia died on January 17th 1929. On this same year the construction of the wished monastery began.
2 Archive of the Canonization Process, Handwritten by Mother Superior Virgínia on August 15th 1913.
3 Archive of the Canonization Process, Handwritten by Mother Superior Virgínia on April 16th 1913.
4 Archive of the Canonization Process, Handwritten by Mother Superior Virgínia on the Corpus Christi day of 1913.
5 Archive of the Canonization Process, Handwritten by Mother Superior Virgínia on August 15th 1913.