2015: In our 75th Jubilee Year
Rejoice with us in the news that Sister Ida has been named Servant of God!
In the May 15th issue of The Tidings, Archbishop José Gomez invited all the Catholic faithful “to bring to his attention any useful information which they might have to offer regarding the cause” of Servant of God Sister Ida Peterfy. We encourage you to write a letter to Archbishop Gomez with any memories you have about her holiness or how her prayers for you were answered (recently or while she was alive). We would love a copy of your letter too!
From the Heart of Sister Ida
Sister Ida, alone in Toronto, Canada, wrote the following to the Sisters in Innsbruck, Austria on Dec. 16, 1949, not knowing when they would see each other again. The words of her heart echo in each of our hearts as we celebrate these 75 years of Grateful Love.
We fall on our knees before our Savior and give Him thanks for coming among us and that we can know Him:
We thank Him for giving so much light of His own light. The “Light of the world” sheds His most precious rays on us, and in His light we found the best path.
We give thanks to Him for accepting us, for accepting the offering of ourselves, and making us totally His own! Our life is one with His life. We have no earthly riches; we only have one treasure: the will of the Father. We have no comfortable plans and hopes for the future, all we have are hearts filled to the brim with trust in Him. We cannot see yet what the Father plans for us, but with joy and delight we give Him everything we have. How beautifully obvious the “one body” is! It is not our merit, but His marvelous love that envelops those who belong to Him.
We give thanks to the Father for allowing us as members of Christ, to work hard in the great work of redemption, and we give thanks for the crosses that it involves. We know that we must live, work and suffer with Him, so we can rise with Him. The grain buried in the ground will bring forth fruit, a hundredfold. If it is totally consumed, it will become part of the entire harvest! The one who lives in Christ as the member of His Body, will share in the entire work of redemption, even if she herself did not even save one single soul. Millions of souls thank her for their eternal, never-ending happiness in Christ.
And now, with embarrassing humility we offer the gifts of our Society to You, Lord. But by your light we have to blush; everything we gathered for you with the sweat of our brow is so little! But we offer it all to You anyway. In each of our little gifts there is a light, the light of love. We have done all for You! We know that it is all pleasing to You. We solemnly promise to You, Jesus, that we will be true to You until our last breath, and we storm heaven for your graces to remain faithful.
1990: Letters to Sister Ida from some of her original companions on the occasion of the Community's 50th Anniversary
Dear Sister Ida,
Since I first heard about you and then when I met you, you were a God-sent gift to me, an answer to my prayers to find my vocation. At our first meeting, your determination and courage stood out, then your kind joyfulness and charity. You showed real concern about me, in all I was doing, my spiritual life, well-being, studies and teaching.
Not long ago your seminar on pain, death and heaven, and our trip to Hungary gave me a new chance to leave behind, offer up again everything and gratefully thank God for you and for all His gifts He gave during these years.
My dear Sister Ida,
From the beginning of SDSH you always followed the Lord the most closely, with a burning love, with the greatest faithfulness and holiness, and with the greatest suffering. At the same time, you also led us; you showed us how we can follow Our Lord even in the midst of the hardest heartaches. The strength and heroism of the Heart of Jesus radiates in a striking way from your words and actions. I will always be with you, with faithfulness, gratitude and warmest love, and follow your God-like example.
Dear Sister Ida,
I met you in 1945, and that meeting changed my life. Through you, Sister Ida, I came to know the loving heart of Jesus and became a religious devoted to His Heart. You led us with your example and encouraged us with your caring words. Your personality and your love of God has drawn many to become our Sisters, or to become more dedicated Christians. Holy Mother the Church has expressed her appreciation of your gifts and leadership through her bishops. On this day I thank God for you in gratitude for all that you have been for me.
Sister Helen Clare
Sister Ida pictured with her Sisters, three of her first companions, from left to right: Sister Aurelia, Sister Agnes, Sister Helen Clare.
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