Sister Maria Deolinda
May 19, 2013
Our Lady Aparecida Province, Canoas, RS – Brazil
Date and place of birth: February 5th, 1931 Nova Udine, County of J. de Castilhos
Date and place of profession: February 11th, 1955 Passo Fundo, RS
Date and place of death: May 19th, 2013 Hosp. São Lucas of PUC, Porto Alegre
Date and place of burial: May 20th, 2013 Convent Cemetery, Canoas, RS
Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Mt. 11:28
Saint Matthew, in the verse: “come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest”, manifests the goodness and mercy of God for his children. Certainly this affirmation of Jesus was the strength and sustaining force in the life of Sister Maria Deolinda who, while still young, became ill.
Brunilda was born on February 5th, 1931, in Nova Udine, county of Júlio de Castilhos, today county of Ivorá, place of Italian immigration. Her parents, Maximiliano and Veronica Peripolli, were farmers. Brunilda was the third of ten children. When she was 22 years old, she entered the postulancy of the Sisters of Notre Dame, in Passo Fundo/RS. In 1953 when she entered the novitiate, she received the name Sister Maria Deolinda.
In the second year of Novitiate, she began her mission as an educator which she exercised until her health did not allow it. In 1973, she was diagnosed with a bipolar affective disorder which compromised her role as a teacher. She left the classroom and began her health treatment. In 1992 she came to Canoas and, continuing in treatment, she dedicated herself to pastoral work. On the weekends, she took care of the liturgy in the Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto on the Air Base of Canoas. Once a big fire began there which, in a few minutes, destroyed the Chapel. People left in a hurry. Sister Maria Deolinda had the presence of mind to risk her life and save the Blessed Sacrament. She shared this fact with pride and gratitude. She was proud that she could save the Eucharistic Christ from the flames. During the week she visited the sick in the Air Force Hospital, an activity which she enjoyed and did with great zeal. It was part of her devotion and prayer of comfort to the sick to bring them the little Chapel of the Mother Thrice Admirable. In December 1996, she was awarded the title of honorary member of the Brazilian Air Force for her services to this organization.
The presence of the cross was visible in her life in many ways. While still young, she needed to leave her professional work. The consequences caused by the disease made interpersonal relationships as well as community life and the connection with her relatives difficult. In the midst of her suffering, often lived in solitude, Sister sought refuge in the Eucharist. She participated daily in the Eucharistic celebration. When she felt that the cross and the limitations of the illness were heavy, she repeated tirelessly: “Trust in the Lord, my soul; in Him is my hope”.
In 2005, Sister Deolinda suffered an assault which resulted in a broken arm. Needing help, she became a resident in Recanto Aparecida. Not recovering sufficiently, in November of 2006, she was permanently transferred to this community.
In the last years, she was in the hospital many times, and relatively recovered her health. The Sisters of the community of Recanto as well as the lay caregivers and nurses took care of Sister with great patience and charity. On May 13th, she was hospitalized for the last time at PUC Hospital in Porto Alegre. In the early morning of May 19th, she was welcomed into the arms of Eternal Love. It was certified that her death was caused by sepsis, pneumonia, ischemic heart disease and schizophrenia.
The Good Shepherd assures eternal life to those who, in life, listen to His voice and follow Him. May Sister Deolinda be welcomed into the arms of the Eternal caregiver, Jesus Chri