“I was sick and you visited me” Mt 25, 36
Mother Soledad was accustomed to seeing Christ in each person, and in particular she sensed that Christ suffering on Calvary was present in each suffering human being.This gave special tenderness and mercy to her human relationships since it was characteristic of the charism that she had received from the Holy Spirit. To better communicate this spirit to her daughters, she requested that a statue of the “DIVINE PATIENT” be made.
It is an image of the suffering Christ whose cross is substituted for a sick bed and whose face tells us that it is not only physical pain that destroys life but that life is broken especially by the weight of the loneliness, uncertainty, and bitterness that each illness entails.
In the infirmary Mother Soledad set aside a room as an oratory for this statue, and she spent long hours in contemplation of this image which she then transformed into untiring service to all.
Overcome with the love and goodness of God when contemplating the “Divine Patient”, she was led to tend to her sick and elderly daughters. They appreciated her special affection and kindness and would say: “Not even our own mothers would have taken better care of us.”
This pious practice from the time of our Mother Foundress is a symbol of our spirituality: love for the Divine Patient. The first Rule left evidence of this: “In all the infirmaries of the Congregation there will be a devout statue of Our Lord Jesus Christ entitled “The Divine Patient”, placed on a simple yet suitable bed; so that the Sisters can recall Him frequently and adore Him during the night; so that the Novices can keep vigil with Him on certain nights…; so that our sick Sisters can bear their suffering with greater fortitude and merit” (Rule of 1873)”.
The Divine Patient reminds us that the sick are the living image of Christ and that we must serve and care for them as the Lord Himself.