SHINING LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS 1914
by little, however, a few lepers start showing him some respect, even affection.
Little by little they start calling him for more serious cases. Finally,
most of them realize that Frei Daniel is their sincere friend.
Christmas day of 1914 rises amidst a shining light. During the Midnight
Mass, the miracle occurs. The lights, the singing, the Nativity set prepared
with great love and trembling hands, the ardor of the priest saying Mass-of
this priest who never ceased to believe in the goodness of his people-are
there to be seen and felt. When Frei Daniel turns around to deliver his
sermon, he sees that the little church of the Leprosarium is full, with
even more people outside. Frei Daniel suddenly feels in Heaven and seems
to hear the angels' melody. The presence of his beloved lepers make him
feel and savor the miracle of the coming of Christ.
before was Frei Daniel so happy at Tucunduba, his new Heaven. From now
on, everything becomes much easier. He is now able to carry on with his
priestly duties, to teach Catechism during each day of Lent, to assist
the dying, and to take care of the social and material welfare of his people.
Moreover, when some difficulties arise, his lepers will demand the appointment
of Frei Daniel as their administrator.
does not accept, he cannot accept, of course, because he only wants to
be their priest, their spiritual chaplain. We like to emphasize this detail
in light of that long period of obstinate rejection. Unfortunately, a small,
hostile group of lepers will continue their warfare by systematically insulting,
even defaming him.
situation is quite hard on him, yet he always pardons them. The pages of
his Diary reveal his misery, but the hostility is not so serious as to
prevent him from carrying on his priestly duties. On the other hand, what
he endures gives him the strength to go for as long and as far as he can,
and even further.