Sister Maristela. A dedication to the poorest for the love of Jesus the Eucharist.

An unsuccessful soccer match completely changed the life of this young Brazilian woman. Today, this religious, Daughter of Poverty of the Blessed Sacrament Toca of Assisi, dedicates her life to Eucharistic adoration and to caring for the poorest of the poor in the streets of the capital of Ecuador.

Juan Carlos Vasconez-January 8, 2024-Reading time: 2 minutes

To understand the history and present life of Sister Maristela, we have to go back almost two decades. Exactly to the year 2004; and to locate ourselves in a concrete place: Uberabaa small town in Minas Gerais, Brazil. On a normal day of that year, in those streets was where the protagonist of this page lived an encounter that completely transformed her existence. 

She herself recalls that "what was initially going to be an afternoon to watch her boyfriend play soccer turned into a transcendental moment in which she discovered the Love of loves: Eucharistic Jesus present on the altar."

The encounter could not have been more fortuitous and almost paradoxical. It all began when they arrived at the field and found that the game had been cancelled. "because a meeting of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was to be held at the same place".. Out of curiosity, more than anything else, they stayed to see what it was all about and "that was the first time, of many others." Maristela highlights. 

Molded by Jesus

One thing led to another. Placing herself in front of the Eucharist was molding this young Brazilian woman who "he felt that the Lord was asking more and more of him." 

So, within a relatively short time, she left her boyfriend, and "he went from a life quite distant from God to a total surrender".

Today, at 36 years of age, she has almost 20 years of consecration within the Institute of the Daughters of Poverty of the Blessed Sacrament Toca of Assisi. Maristela has become Sister Maristela and she dedicates her life "to a Eucharistic charism inspired by St. Francis of Assisi". 

Their vocation is manifested in alleviating the suffering of the helpless, being aware of the fact that "only strengthened and loved by Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament can they recognize the divine presence in the poor.".

Sister Maristela currently lives in Quito, where she is on mission. Her daily workday takes place between "We spend time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and work for the neediest of the little brothers and sisters. Breakfast and lunch are prepared for them". 

In search of the most needy

Once a week, Sister Maristela goes out at night, together with the other nuns, to look for the most needy and assist them in the places where they spend the night. Over the years they have found almost all the places in the Historic Center of Quito, where those known as "homeless" sleep in the open. 

In addition, once a month they have a "A special day, where they are welcomed into their home. There, they change their clothes, offer them a hot shower and they can have a better-presented meal. They take the opportunity to cut their nails and hair. Several volunteers talk with them or play board games. It's very nice, they give them back their dignity. 

Sister Maristela maintains that "now, for me, the essence of my existence lies in the meaning of donating myself". Seeks, in every day of his life, to express what it means to give himself completely "to the Christ who is closest to all of us".. For her, total surrender is "an act of love and service to others, reflecting the mercy he receives daily as he encounters Jesus in the Eucharist." Sister Maristela weaves her legacy with threads of generosity, compassion and love, inspiring those who know her to follow the path of selfless dedication for the good of others and, above all, for the love of the Eucharistic Jesus.

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