Rafaela left for Rome at the age of  42 and there she lived the rest of her years. She went to Rome to become the foundation, the bedrock, of the Institute- to maintain unity, as nothing was more important to her than that. She lived in a corner of the city, a corner of the Institute, and from there her being vibrated to the pulse of the Institute, the Church, the world …

Hers was a hidden life, physically limited to the space between four walls, although her heart transcended it by far. Rafaela listened, in the day to day, to her Lord, the Lord of Life. Her sights were not set on triumph or success or fame, but on fidelity. 

Those were not easy years and, at times, the passage of time must have been unbearably slow...she did not know how long it would last ... but it was 32 years lived day by day, with intensity. Years of suffering, of dispossession ... and mysteriously, years that bore fruit and fruit in abundance. With her fidelity, serene strength and faith, she moved mountains in space and time.

Rafaela, who possessed such great pastoral energy, was stripped of all external activity, of all leadership; instead she dedicated herself to the daily task of comforting, encouraging, renewing, seeking understanding and building unity at all costs. She observed life and observed the world- the suffering of humanity, historical events, the concrete reality of each sister, the problems and joys of her relatives- everything found a place in her gaze and shelter in her heart.

One of the last chores left to her was embroidery. And how much thoughtful stitching she did, with such care! She embroidered her life, wove all the threads of her story with infinite delicacy and care. If we were to search for Rafaela's “passions” in this weaving, we would soon come upon her desire for union and her struggle for peace: "All united in everything like the fingers of the hand" she would say… and "Let us be people of peace and celebration." Each thread has its color and thickness… united and intertwined with the others…no single color, no a single thread dominating… and what a tapestry emerges!  

“… And nothing will be able to throw me off balance. The more pressed I am, the more trusting and more abandoned in God I must be, and very tied to Him by prayer, and this must always be my food, and I will not for anything or for anyone abandon it. And if I feel abandoned by God, I will cling to Him all the more and surrender to Him by sheer force.”

“God lives in it (my soul) and gives it superabundant strength, like the sap of plants, to develop and grow in robustness and freshness. Furthermore, it seems that there is between God and it the close union of the indissoluble sacrament and, therefore, that there can no longer be a separation between the two.”

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be…

But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. 

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.“      (Mt 6:21, 33-34)

Where is my "treasure"? Who do I trust? What is the center from which I act and live?

Prayer to Saint Raphaela Mary

With you and like you, we want to say to our God and Lord, the prayer of Saint Ignatius:

"Take, Lord and receive

all my freedom,

my memory, my understanding

and my entire will

All I have and possess,

you have given it to me,

to you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours

dispose of it according to your will.

Give me your love and grace,

this is enough for me.”