The Brotherhood of Little Sisters of Jesus in Belgrade
The brotherhood of Little Sisters of Jesus in Belgrade was officially founded at the end of 1969, when the then Archbishop Gabrijel Bukatko served the first Holy Mass in the chapel. Religious congregation of Little sisters of Jesus was founded in 1939, by Little Sister Magdeleine (1898-1989). She was inspired by the spirituality of Little Brother Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) – a convert who was affected by God’s mercy, impressed by Jesus, the Son of God and peoples’ Friend who made himself one of us, sharing our ordinary human life. Little Sisters want to follow Jesus in that everyday life and share the Joyous news, the Kingdom of Heaven with all those who surround them, especially there where the greatest need for His love exists. They strive to live in an intimate, contemplative friendship with Jesus in Bethlehem’s manger in Nazareth, in the Eucharist, in an intimate approach to people, seeking and discovering the face of Christ in every human being.
Little Sister Magdeleine had a great longing for pervasive love and unity in her heat. She founded the brotherhood of Little Sisters of Jesus in Belgrade with the aim of reaching out to the Orthodox Church and with a desire of deeper mutual understanding and rapprochement. There were three Little Sisters in Belgrade. Two of them worked in hospital, one as a laboratory technician and the other as a nurse. They are now retired. Numerous friendships have been made in the neighborhood, at work and on various occasions over the years. They cultivated friendship in everyday life, in simple meetings, during family celebrations or celebrations of Christmas and Easter and on the visits to churches and monasteries.
It’s been 40 years and nothing has changed in our basic principle: with constant prayer and simple companionship, gain the respect for every person; we want to express our Lord’s tenderness in all forms. We were able to persevere through the times of war, and thus our sense of belonging has become greater. Soul of the nation was kept by its religious foundation, and many have wanted to rediscover their deep-rooted hospitality and kindness.
Here are some stories from everyday life that we look forward to again and again:
Our forty-year-old neighbor invited us to her baptism and wedding in the Orthodox Church, saying: “You are my family and this is a family reunion”.
The joy of smiles, words of welcome, whenever we attend the liturgy, or whenever we are in the office, in the Orthodox Church.
The joy when a group of young Orthodox Christians sing at major ceremonies in the Catholic Church.
The joy when we meet our neighbors and friends in our community, whether for Christmas or Easter, but also when we are invited to visit them too.
When a visitor was leaving the house of Little Sisters, he exclaimed: “This is Heaven!” Upon hearing his remark, little sister Martina started to wonder if he really meant it and she kept asking herself what heaven in her daily life was.
Is Heaven taking part in the masses, prayers of psalms in the community, or worship of God in silence of the sacraments, listening carefully to His heart’s desire?
Or daily visits of our neighbor who does not have anybody in the world except for the Little Sisters and comes every day due to given alove and care and an occasional cup of coffee and conversation? Yes, those moments were definitely main event during all these days.
Is Heaven the admiration for God’s icon on the faces of the elderly in a house where I work, while recognizing their beauty and dignity?
The Heaven is also present in meetings with my colleague who comes home in the early morning hours after a long shift and who is always ready to work overtime and never complains as her husband has multiple sclerosis and she supports her family.
Yes, that is a reflection of Heaven, but we are not there yet, we are on the journey. And we continue our journey by drawing the power of love since we know that the Kingdom of God is among us.
All this everyday life and every single person is in the heart of Little Sisters, who live in communion with all people every day, especially during an hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament as the part of their mission. They want to be a sign of hope and God’s tenderness in the light of Bethlehem Child, in the light of Gospel and in today’s world because “…For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3: 16).
51 Đevđelijska Street, 11000 Belgrade
Phone: 011 / 30-85-356
The addresses of the Little Sisters of Jesus who work elsewhere in the world: