Yes, these words of Pope Pius X are very appropriate for women living in ‘Japamala Bhavan 'in Thellakom, in Kerala in the southern state of India. It is a shelter for poor, aged or physically vulnerable women left with the sisters by their families because they were no longer able to look after them for various reasons.
The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, thanks to the generous heart of an elderly couple who donated a small house to welcome these people, have opened a community at the service of these women. The shelter home called Japamala Bhavan 'which means "House of the Rosary", is the small house given, which has been transformed into an oasis where these women slowly recover their dignity as daughters of God and integrate themselves as active members in the work of the family that welcomed them. This mission also responds to the intentions of the donors: that it be a place of welcome and prayer. The prayer of the rosary is the lifeblood of these women who never fail to pray it daily.
On August 14, 2021, the sisters organized a special time of prayer on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Independence Day of India, which is on August 15. The women animated the prayer of the rosary by reciting the mysteries in different languages and singing songs of the Blessed Mother. Furthermore, to each mystery of the rosary they openly entrusted their fears and pains to her. Most of these women suffer from the traumas of living in misery, the abandonment of their loved ones and the consequence of physical and mental illnesses.
After the recitation of the holy rosary, we had an hour of Eucharistic adoration, in which we remembered the great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi who heroically sacrificed their lives for freedom of the nation from foreign rule. We thanked the Lord for their dreams of a free nation; as written by the great Indian poet and mystic Rabindranath Tagore,
“Where the mind is fearless and the head is high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been shattered by narrow domestic walls;
Where the words come from the depths of the truth;
Where the tireless struggle stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear current of reason is not lost in the desolate desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led by you in ever broader thoughts and actions -
In to that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.
We presented before our Eucharistic Lord, the present day sociopolitical and religious struggles we live and the misery of the people still living under the poverty line. Thus, we cannot claim that we are truly free. With a humble and contrite spirit, we begged the Lord to grant us the grace to proclaim Jesus the Son of God, Savior of the world with our own life; because we obtain true liberation only when we leave a space for His person. Yes, the true freedom we get only when we find out and live the Truth, that Truth in person is Jesus Christ and that Truth alone can set us free. He himself said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life” (Jn.14:6)
We infinitely thank God for all his gifts and entrust our country into the loving hands of the Father. The prayers of our women rise like incense and be accepted and answered by God according to His will.
May the Lord bless us and keep us!