Rev. Sister Cecilia Maria lived a simple life of prayer and devotion – and she would have been forgotten just like many nuns of Saints Teresa and Joseph Monastery in Santa Fe, Argentina who died before her; yet it was in her death that she became famous because despite the pain and suffering she experienced in her last months, she still managed to die with a huge smile on her face!
Surely, that is real peace!
Sister Cecilia Maria did not immediately become a nun but when she graduated from nursing at age 26, she made her first vows as a discalced Carmelite. Still, it was not until 2003 that she finally made being a nun as her final profession.
Living a simple life in the monastery, Sister Cecilia Maria devoted her time in prayer yet she would also earn a reputation for being cheerful and always having a ready smile for everyone she meets. When she was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer of the tongue that has already metastasized to her lungs, she remained cheerful.
We could not begin to imagine the pain that she was going through yet Sister Cecilia Maria would still smile to everyone. She devoted what remained of her time on Earth in prayer, as she lifted up her sufferings to heaven.
And when she died, everyone knew that she truly was at peace with what was about to happen because she had a huge smile on her face! Some say that she was smiling because Jesus had finally arrived to bring her to heaven and end her earthly sufferings…
“Jesus! Just two lines to let you know that our dearly beloved sister gently fell asleep in the Lord, after such a painful illness, always borne with joy and her surrender to her Divine Spouse,” discalced Carmelites announced. “We send you all our love, grateful for your support and prayer during this entire time, so painful yet so wonderful at the same time. We believe she flew directly to heaven, but we also ask you to not cease commending her to your prayers, so from heaven she may repay you. A big hug from her Sisters in Santa Fe.”
Her wake and funeral, just like how she lived her life, were full of joy as everyone celebrated the beautiful life of a wonderful nun – for it was her wish that everyone celebrated instead of dwelling in sadness over her demise.
She had left a written note, “I was thinking about how I would like my funeral to be. First, some intense prayer and then a great celebration for everyone. Don’t forget to pray but don’t forget to celebrate either!”