Lucy Theresa, sacristan for 40 years, to serve Mary until her last breath
by Melani Manel Perera

The sacristan lives in a fishing village near the Mahawilachchiya Reservoir. Every day she rings the bell of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church to call the faithful to pray. In May, she carries a small statue of the Our Lady from house to house.

 

 


Colombo (AsiaNews) – Our Lady of Perpetual Aid Church is located in Randuuwa, a small fishing village in Sri Lanka’s North Central province. Lucy Theresa Fernando has been its sacristan for 40 years.

Serving the parish "and our blessed Mother makes me so proud that I will do it until my last breath," she said to AsiaNews as she talked about her daily life and its simple tasks.

"I cannot forget the blessings I received from Mary,” she explained. “This is why I cannot avoid giving my life to our church.”

Lucy Theresa is 69 and one of the local elders. Her village, which is near the Mahawilachchiya Reservoir, is home to 25 Catholic families and 15 from other religions.

She says that residents live in an atmosphere of peace and harmony and devotion to Our Lady of perpetual help is what unites them. Thanks to her intercession, "many blessings take place," she said. She is a living witness of these "miracles".

 "I spent many years without [the capacity to] smell. I took several medicines, but they did nothing. The only cure was the great love of the Mother, to whom I prayed diligently for many months. Thanks to her, my nephew also found a job and now he is happy.”

The sacristan leads a humble life, in a small house next to the parish church. "Every day I arrange the altar, I ring the church bell to summon the faithful, and keep everything clean with the help of some parishioners."

Her tasks include “reciting the Rosary and litanies. In May (month dedicated to Our Lady), in the village I carry a small statue of Mary from house to house and pray the Rosary together with the families."

"If we entrust ourselves to the Virgin Mary, we will not be in any danger.”

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