At 101 years old, Doña Penha has seen quite a bit of life.
centenarian experienced something new on September 28, as she received
her First Communion during Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel nursing home
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
For those who witnessed the occasion, it was a great testimony to the love of God.
“It was a very beautiful moment that showed us that it is never too
late to receive the Eucharist, which for someone seeking God, neither
time nor shame can prevent,” said the administrative assistant of the
nursing home, Josiane Ribeiro. She added that occasions like this help
Ribeiro told CNA that Doña Penha arrived about a year ago at the
nursing home, which is run by the Sisters of the Our Lady of the Rosary
of Fatima Association. There is a chapel on site where Mass is
celebrated during the week.
Doña Penha began to attend Mass with the other women. One day, she
asked to go to Confession. Father Domingos Sávio Silva Ferreira realized
she had not yet received Communion and asked the sisters to prepare her
to receive the sacrament, Ribeiro recalled.
After that preparation, Doña Penha received Communion for the first
time. According to nursing home officials, those who were with her could
see that “that was what she really wanted.” Even at 101 years of age,
they said, “she is very lucid, and prepared to receive First Communion
from the heart.”
For Ribeiro, the occasion was a witness of God’s love – not just for
the people who live with Doña Penha at the nursing home, but also for
the many others who could share the moment through social media.
“We put the photos on the nursing home's Facebook page, and many people saw it, commented and congratulated,” she said.
The nursing home’s Facebook post received hundreds of likes and
shares. Among the comments, one subscriber emphasized: “There is always
time, and her time was now! God bless you!”