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Monday, 08 July 2019 21:00

Sr. Clare and the Persecuted Christians

 Karolina

Karolina Vera:  Sr. Clare was living like a real Christian, dying to what she liked and felt like doing. She told me once that we have a huge responsibility to pray for our brothers and sisters, the persecuted Christians.

Karolina Vera, youth member of the Home of the Mother in Ecuador, sent us these memories of Sr. Clare’s love for the persecuted Christians. Karolina doesn’t hesitate to state that Sr. Clare always had the same disposition of surrender and trust in God—there in Ecuador where Our Lord placed her—as the persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

I remember that time when a group of us girls were in Holy Family Educational Center’s auditorium with the sisters. Sr. Clare and the five girls who passed away along with her in the earthquake on April 16, 2016, were also there. One of the sisters showed us a video of Sr. Guadalupe, SSVM and missionary in the Middle East for almost 20 years, talking about the persecuted Christians and her experiences with the persecuted Christians in Aleppo.

At the end of the video, all of us were really impacted by this woman’s witness and the persecuted Christians’ bravery and love. I remember particularly that Sr. Clare was really touched. She deeply admired our persecuted brothers and sisters in Syria, especially those who gave their life for the Lord.

At the end of the video there was a song called Soy Nazareno [I Am Nazarene] by Maxi Larghi and a lot of pictures of Christians in the Middle East. These are the lyrics [originally in Spanish]:

Soy nazareno

The desert sands have been moistened
With God’s blood and tears.
In their march, the shadows tint flags
With black of terror.
 
I fell in Iraq and I fell in Syria,
But now I am standing.
Even though my knees shake,
I walk by my Creed and prop up my faith here.
 
I am Nazarene, Nazarene.
I carry an announcement in my voice that speaks of resurrection,
And when I die, I don’t die,
Because I was marked by the letter “nun” in my soul by God.
 
I hear my prayer whispered,
Under the shots of the Kalashnikov in Mosul’s streets.
While I carry the weight of my winds,
That, extended, formed a cross in me.
 
And between hangovers, West, eats the cannibal of rancor.
And even though the sun seems absent,
I see a foot upon the serpent, I see the triumph of Love.
 
I am Nazarene, Nazarene.
I bear an announcement in my voice that speaks of resurrection,
And when I die, I don’t die,
Because I was marked by the letter “nun” in my soul by God.
 
You can take my head. You can burn my churches.
You can throw me out of the land I was born in, but my soul is God’s.
Your weapons may convince you that you have managed to submit me,
But my spirit inspires me toward freedom. Chains can’t hold the truth down.
In the face of your nails of wrath, I want to turn the other cheek.
Love the hand that hammers and caress your dagger’s blade with my neck.
 
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.
Son, forgive us, for we do not do what You did.
 
I am Nazarene, Nazarene.
I bear an announcement in my voice that speaks of resurrection,
And when I die, I don’t die,
Because I was marked by the letter “nun” in my soul by God.
 
I am Nazarene, and when I die, I don’t die.

After listening to that song, Sr. Clare told us that it wasn’t a joke or just any other song. She told us that what the lyrics say is very serious and that we shouldn’t just sing it for no reason. She said that if we weren’t willing to die to ourselves and fight seriously to live like real Christians it would be better not to sing it.

Weeks after this episode, Sister came one day and told us that she was going to learn the chords to be able to play and sing that song. When she told us this, my interpretation was that Sr. Clare was living like a real Christian, dying to what she liked and felt like doing, which is why she dared to look for the chords and lyrics to the song to be able to sing it.

Sr. Clare told me once that we have a huge responsibility to pray for our brothers and sisters, the persecuted Christians because they need our prayers to be strong and faithful unto death. So since that day, I pray for them.

One week before she died, Sr. Clare wrote me a letter. In the header she drew the letter “nun” (the symbol of the Christians). Underneath, between musical notes, she wrote: “I am Nazareeene.”

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