“An indispensable quality in an educator is love for her students. If this love truly exists, that love will make you seek at every moment what is best for each girl.” (Mother Christina, 1951)

Around the corners of our classrooms, we share about God’s love, we talk about God who is real in the life of each person. Throughout the experiences of which I have emerged in the field of teaching, being a class teacher, giving the tutor, knowing the needs of each student in order to accompany them in their process of learning, I discovered that teaching is a novel profession. The teacher needs to go beyond to the fullest of having a great dedication, which is not only about teaching but bring out the best in each student and help them discover the gifts that God has given to each one.

And here in the third probation, we had the chance to once more deepen our educational style of evangelizing education. We enjoyed contemplating the first handmaid’s educators through history full of gratitude and inspiration. They dedicated themselves fully to “look at the children especially, not as the impertinent little beings which they are by nature, but with the interest with which one looks at something very precious, for each soul has cost the blood of God Himself.” (Raphaela Mary expresses it clearly in her letter to M. Felisa in 1887)

This attitude is the most important aspect of our lives. We embrace the children who come to us with an open and warm heart of Christ, then they can truly experience God’s love profoundly and develop the capacity of love – towards God, others and themselves just as they are. Therefore, we spread the loving gaze of God as a Father and Mother that they may discover their uniqueness with hope and courage.

I have realized that in order to be a good educator, a person needs to have a great desire in making a substantial difference for the future of others and providing a good transformation for someone’s life through education. And today, with the spirituality of our Mother Foundress Saint Raphaela Mary, I am called to be contemplatives of the heart of Christ, that is embodied in the heart of each human being in order to repair, to heal, to bring Life, the Life that I have discovered in Christ, to continually carry on the charism of education in today’s world. I love to be the channel of His love and hope to the children, for I believe that to educate is to love. This love is the way of transforming one’s own future and creating the possibilities for a person to develop comprehensively. As a little Handmaid, wherever I am, I try to acknowledge, value, love and plan the good seeds in the heart of the children so that they can be the best of themselves as a loving creature of God.

The evangelizing education – the pedagogy of the heart- was carried out from the beginning by the first Handmaids, and today the Lord is continuously inviting us to collaborate with Him in our reparative mission to the heart of Jesus. Thanks to our Almighty God for continuing to transform us each day through education and as women of faith, hope and love, we are grounded and firm in His heart and interests, continuing to dedicate ourselves to evangelizing education for the greater glory of God – Love first, teach second.

Beatriz Pereira De Araújo, ACI