Sr Erminia Cazzaniga – Italian missionary in Timor-Leste
Sister Erminia Cazzaniga, Italian missionary in Timor l’Este who lived almost 40 years in Timor-Leste. She was the guide and a good consuellor of young people. The parish priest told about her: “She hepled always everybody, my family, too”… ” When I met her for the first time, she was the Superior of the comunity in Manatuto, the city between Baucau and a capital Dili. I was visiting the village together with the bishop Belo and we and we stayed at sisters’ convent to drink a cup of coffe“.
Sr Erminia was sincere and had a great sense of good humour, also with the bishop Belo who was a Nobel laureated and had known him as a seminarist. The rule of sister Erminia – told father Martinho – consisted in encouraging people to be good”.
That day she was killed, there was a climate of tension. Sister Erminia knew that the violence of the soldiers was increasing. But at that moment no one would have immagined that this very good-tempered sister, some months later, would have become one of the victim their violence.
On that dramatic 27 of september, while she was carying the food for the refugees, she was killed together with another canossian sister, Celeste Carvallo (from Timor-Leste).
In her last letter to the parish priest she had written: “You certainly know that we are in a full war…. The groups sostained by the miliciant are attacking and destroying our country.. Our mission today is not only to help, as Saint Paul said, but also to cry with those who
are crying and share with those who are in need. And also to strengthen in hope and trust in God our Father who doesn’t abbandon His little ones. Mary, Mother of Jesus intercedes for us for the miracle of the unity, peace and common love“.
Let’s pray with sister Erminia and ask, that many martyrs of the faith obtain for us the reconciliation and the visdom of the dialogue.