"In Jesus we find everything"

General Government of the Brothers and Sisters, Rome


Home / Our deceased / † Sr. María Antonia VELASCO sscc (Spain)

† Sr. María Antonia VELASCO sscc (Spain)

    Dear Sisters:

   On Saturday, 28th March, a 6 in the morning, our sister María Antonia Velasco breathed her last, thus putting her life into the hands of the Father forever. Such was her life as a Child of the Sacred Hearts: a faithful, joyful, and generous self giving, an unconditional “Fiat” to what the Lord was asking of her.
   She was born in Madrid on March 11th, 1916. She was a pupil in our school in Fuencarral. At the beginning of the civil war in 1936, his parents disappeared: in the morning they had gone to queue for bread... and never returned! A family friend was the last person to see them in the street, surrounded by a gang who had taken them prisoner and were shouting, “kill them, they are fascists, they are wearing a Cross”. For Maria Antonia and her brothers and sisters there followed a lengthy and very painful time of useless searching for their parents. From that moment with great affection and sense of responsibility, she gave herself to caring for her brothers and sisters.
   On July 9th, 1942 she began her postulancy in our house in Fuencarral. Then she went to El Escorial where she began her novitiate and made her first vows on September 24th, 1944. After spending some time teaching she went to our hostel “Regina Pacis” to take care of young university students.
   On February 17th 1948 she made her final vows in Picpus. With her return to Spain she began a long period of service in government, first as Superior of the community “Regina Pacis” (1948-1954) and Torrelavega (1954-1960), and from 1960 until January 1971 as Provincial of the Spanish Province. For our province her term of office marked an intense time with two important focal points: a time of profound renewal following the guidelines of Vatican II and a time of missionary expansion with the foundations of Paraguay (1965) and the Congo (1969). At the same time in the province, a new style of community was encouraged, with emphasis on communion and the relationship between people. Jaraiz de la Vera and Jerez de la Frontera were founded at this time. Cadiz was also founded in collaboration with our Brothers.
   At the end of her term as provincial and after a time spent in the formation of the temporary professed, she was appointed as provincial bursar. She showed great practical talent and succeeded – like everything else in her life – in putting it at the service of communion and the Kingdom.
   When she was 71 she volunteered for the foundation in Lisbon. Our Brothers, were developing the social work there, and had requested the assistance of the Sisters' for a Residence for women. For Maria Antonia it was a real joy “to jump into the water” of a new and unfamiliar world, but greatly loved by her: the world of poverty, in this case it was with her beloved, helpless elderly.
   In 1997 she asked to leave Portugal to go to the community in Jaraiz. She spent six years dedicated to her sisters in community and as the children’s nurse, giving the same enthusiasm and love that she put into each step and gesture of her long life. As she used to say, “love has to make its debut every day”.
   In 2004, the time to rest finally arrived and she came to the Infirmary in El Escorial. Her strength was declining, her memory fading... but she continued to be concerned about others, “looking after those who came to visit us” and by “giving something to those were working in the house”... And, especially, to spend her time - long hours – in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.
   Her movement was also limited. In her last months, she spent many hours of stillness and prayer, contemplating the view from her armchair or in her wheelchair by the window of her room. This she did with impressive peace, without demanding anything, without complaining about anything, thankful for the care and attention she received from those who were looking after her with so much sensitivity and care.
   Her distinctive style, her original way of being and doing revealed the SS.CC. charisma and very close relationship with our Founders. Everything about the Congregation had always interested her very much: the sisters in other provinces, the development of provinces and communities, the PPC...
   Mª Antonia spent time with us, “doing good”. She has taught us the great commitment to the Gospel of Jesus with his compassionate and merciful heart... Her life has always spoken to us of loyalty, perseverance, and consistency, of detachment, of coherence, of good humour. As a women of deep-rooted convictions she has given them form in each stage by means of a great flexibility and adaptability to what is new. Every day she lived the truth that she promised at the time of her profession. “sister of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in whose service I wish to live and die”.
   The Community of El Escorial is always united in SS.CC. I say this on their behalf.
María Paloma Aguirre ss.cc.