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The Legacy

Augusto Silva Nursing Home

Designed to help rebuild the Augusto Silva Nursing Home, Sister Benigna was responsible for raising funds for both the construction of the place and to feed all the inmates. The elderly of the Nursing House as well as the children were those who received most of her attention. With her dynamism and enthusiasm, Sister Benigna, in life, coordinated campaigns to collect food, meeting bakers and farmers, asking them for bread and a little bit of the milk produced. In Belo Horizonte, she gathered clothes with her friends, as well as domestic utensils, furniture, supplies, sewing machines, television and refrigerators. She managed to carry the donated objects in a borrowed truck. Everything in her hands multiplied. The campaigns, which began very shy, became a great joint effort. To remedy the lack of water observed in the Nursing Home at that time, she succeeded in building an artesian well. A van and an ambulance were donated to facilitate the transport of the weakest. With the donated objects, the Nursing Home was revamped, equipped and furnished. By means of the divine grace and commitment of Sister Benigna, everything has been improved in Lar Augusto Silva. Everything has been increased.

Photograph: Facade of Augusto Silva Nursing Home

The Chapel of St. Joseph

Located in the inner part of Augusto Silva Nursing Home, in Lavras/ Minas Gerais State, the Chapel of St. Joseph was opened on August 16, 1980, with great religious festivities and participation of friends from different cities and other states. It was, above all, through the glory of God, as well as with exhaustive efforts of Sister Benigna and important contribution of close friends, with donations of religious pictures, candlesticks, bell, benches, chalices, sanctuary, towels and ornamental pottery, that the Chapel was ready. The band of the military police entertained the guests, playing happily. That day brought a lot of joy to the elderly, also due to the new clothes they had received as donations for the event. A solemn Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of the local diocese, followed by a lunch offered to all guests, organized by friends of the city of Lavras, also counting on the cooperation and involvement of friends from other locations, present in the event. Despite the criticism of her own congregation, Sister Benigna managed to raise a chapel with good quality materials, achieving a marvellous result. The floor and half walls were covered with marble. Sister Benigna raised this chapel with hardships, but with strong faith and great love.

Photograph: Altar of the Chapel of St. Joseph

The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

After establishing the Chapel of St. Joseph, Sister Benigna started up a new challenge: the construction of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Located in front of the chapel, the cave was also raised through donations of all construction material. Sister Benigna booked the images of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette to the sculptor Synfronini, in Belo Horizonte. The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, with the complete project, was not only beautiful but also divine. As the Chapel of St. Joseph, the cave soon became a holy place, full of great devotion and faithfulness. It was opened on August 16, 1981, with a big celebration in Lavras, located in Minas Gerais State. With the death of Sister Benigna, the cave had been closed for many years, being reopened after a visit of a priest at Augusto Silva Nursing Home, who found it covered in weeds and locked. He opened it to the Nursing Home, nuns and all of those who wanted to go there to pray. From that moment on, a beautiful sign was left to those who were praying in the cave: a light rain began to fall dripping thick, which meant blessings of God and Our Lady rewarding the devotion of people and rescue of Sister Benigna.

Photograph: panoramic view of Grotto of Our Lady and Sister Benigna bust

The Busts

When Sister Benigna died, her mortuary mask was removed in order to make a bronze bust. Nevertheless, two busts were produced at that time, both sculpted by Synfronini. The material was donated by friends from Belo Horizonte and Lavras. One of them is inside the Nursing Home, beside the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the other was placed in the square, in front of the Augusto Silva Nursing Home, which was finally named after her.

Photograph: bust of Sister Benigna

Read the Biography
Prayers Taught by the Sister Benigna