Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct 2, 2016 / 02:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At 101 years old, Do√±a Penha has seen quite a bit of life.
But the 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 “reaffirm faith.”
Ribeiro told CNA that Do√±a 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.
Do√±a 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, Do√±a 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 Do√±a 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!”