The “Handmaids of Mary“ are a congregation founded in Madrid in the 19th century. Their special mission is to care for all the sick, whether in the hospitals or in their homes. This they do entirely free of charge and with a special love and care, for in every sick person they see the face of Christ himself.
The congregation has also been present on the Caribbean island of Cuba ever since 1875, and today the community in the capital Havana includes religious sisters from many different countries – including Spain, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba itself.
At night they keep vigil in the hospitals or in the homes, at the bedside of patients whom they accompany in their last moments on earth. And during the day they care for the patients, washing them and preparing food for them. It is a task that has been made much more difficult by the pandemic.
Many people also come knocking on the doors of their convent each day, looking for help. Regularly, more than 30 people, including the destitute, alcoholics and the psychologically troubled, come seeking help, and they too find support, consolation and loving care.
“You cannot imagine just how precarious the situation is for Cuban families. Most of them cannot even afford the minimum necessary for a dignified life“, explains Sister Maria Isabel. Since the sisters are providing all this care at no cost and from a pure, disinterested love of God alone, they themselves are also materially poor. So they are all the more grateful for the financial donations that our generous benefactors have enabled us to contribute for their day-to-day support.
Sister Maria Isabel continues: “Once again we want to express our gratitude for your support, a gratitude echoed also in the grateful thanks of so many of these people who benefit from our presence and our support among them. We pray to God the Father that He may continue to bless you with his providence and inspire in many hearts the generosity to share with the poor and forgotten.“
Every year ACN supports thousands of religious sisters all around the world – over 18,000 of them in the year 2020.