School of the Heart 2017: Our Visit to Florence



We thank God for the joy we received when we went to visit our sisters in Florence. It was a great day for us.

On 7th April we left the Community at 6. 00 am and we took the bus up to Termini. We left Rome at 7. 35 am and we arrived in Florence at 8. 45 am. We were welcomed by Sr. Bernadette Etienne at railway station. She took us direct at the Cathedral called St. Maria Del Fiore which is one of the biggest Church in the word. We remained praying for some minutes then we had Mass at 9. 30 am.

After Mass Sr. Antonietta came and guided us into different places. We moved around the Cathedral then we went at the Church of St. John Baptist (Battistero de SanJuan) which is opposite the cathedral in the same compound. We proceeded our journey up to the Church of St Trinity (Santa Trinita) where our Foundress was rested for three days after her death. Our guide told us that many people went to see her body and they were saying that “this sister is a saint” We were very grateful to visit this Church. From there we went to the former house (palace) of Adrian the son of Emily where our Mother foundress died. We were not able to entre in the room where she died from, because this house (palace) has changed into a Hotel called Bretagne Hotel. Fortunately we were able to climb the steps were our foundress was passing to go to her room on the second floor and we reached the door which was entering her room. We felt joy to pass in her footsteps.

At the hotel there is a post which shows that Emily D`Oultremont D`Hooghvorst the foundress of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix died here on the date of 22nd Feb 1878. It is amazing to be there for such a long time. We took it as a symbol of HOPE and REMEMBERANCE of her life. We visited many other places which are significant in Florence. We also saw the Parish were our sisters are doing their apostolate. They visit the sick, the aged, take Holy Communion and welcome the people to our Chapel for Mass and Adoration.  From there we went to our community of St Blessed Sacrament and there are four sisters, Sr. Antonietta, Sr. Bernadette, Sr. Theresa and Sr. Assumpta. We received a warmly welcome. We had refreshment which followed a heavy lunch which was prepared in an Italian way and Malagasy. After Lunch we went in the Chapel for prayers. We had a good time of sharing. Before we left we had a photo all together at terrace.

From the Community of the Blessed Sacrament we were accompanied by Sr. Bernadette to another Community at Sesto Fiorentino. It is the Community of infirmary. We were welcomed warmly and on our arrival we were taken in the Chapel to thank and greet the owner of the house “JESUS” the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. From the Chapel we went to the dining room where we took much time of charting with great joy. We introduced ourselves and shared our experiences together. The great work of this Community is prayer, always before the Blessed Sacrament. They are 11 Sisters in the Community and one of them is 101yrs old. The youngest in the Community is 75yrs. We were much attracted by the happiness and the caring of each other which was noticed within a short time we have been with them. We also felt that our aged sisters are witnesses God`s fidelity throughout their lives to us. This Community also prepared special things for us, different types of refreshment with two big cakes, ice cream and each one was given a gift. We left the Community in the evening and took the train at 7. 50pm and we arrived in Rome at 8. 35pm.

We thank God for the good weather He gave us. A special thanks for our formators and the General Counsel who organized this day for us.