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 Archbishop of that time, father Gabrijel Bukatko served the first Holy Mass in tjhe chapel. Religious congregation of Jesus’ little sisters was founded in 1939 by Little Sister Magdalena (1898-1989). She was inspired by the spirituality of Little Brother Karl – Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) – a convert who was affected by the mercies of God, impressed by Jesus, the Son of God, Friend of people who made himself one of us, sharing our ordinary human life. Little Sisters want to follow Jesus in the everyday life and share the good news, the Kingdom of Heaven with all those who surround them, especially where there is the greatest need for His love. They strive to live in an intimate, contemplative friendship with Jesus in Bethlehem’s manger in Nazareth, in the Eucharistic, in intimate dealings with the people, seeking and discovering the face of Christ in every human being.
Little Sister Magdalena had a great longing for the pervasive love and unity in her heat. She founded the brotherhood Little Sisters of Jesus in Belgrade with the aim of opening towards the Orthodox Church, with the desire of a deeper mutual understanding and rapprochement. In Belgrade brotherhood there are currently three Little Sisters. Two worked in the hospital, one as a laboratory technician and the other as a nurse, and they are now retired. Over the years many friendships have been built in the neighborhood, at work, on various occasions… They cultivate friendship in everyday life, in simple meetings, in family celebrations, in the celebration of Christmas and Easter, 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 reach the respect of every person; we want to express the tenderness of our Lord in all shapes. We were able to persevere through the times of war, and with this our sense of belonging has become greater. The soul of the nation is 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 Orthodox Church, with words: “Because you are my family, and this is a family reunion.”
The joy of smiles, words of welcome, whenever we are on the liturgy, 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 friends and neighbors in our community, whether for Christmas or Easter, but also when we are invited to visit them back…
When a visitor was leaving the house of Little Sisters, he exclaimed: “This is paradise!” Upon hearing his remark, little sister Martina started to wander if this person really means this, and she kept asking herself the question of what is heaven in her daily life.
Is that the participation of the masses, prayers, psalms, community, or the worship of God in the silence of the sacraments, listening carefully to the desire of His heart? Yes, those moments were certainly the main event during all these days.
Are the daily visits of our neighbor who does not have anybody in the world except for the Little Sisters, and comes every day due to the love and care provided and the occasional cup of coffee and conversation?
Is it the admiration of God’s icon on the faces of the elderly in the house where I work, while recognizing their beauty and dignity?
It is this way in meetings with my colleague who comes home in the early morning hours after the long shift, always ready to work overtime and never rebels because her husband has multiple sclerosis, and she supports her family with her salary.
Yes, this is a reflection of paradise, but we are not there yet, we are on the way… And we continue our journey by drawing the power of love because we know that the Kingdom of God is among us.
All this everyday life and every single person is in the heart of the Little Sisters, especially during the hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, which is part of their mission, and who live in communion with all people every day. In light of Bethlehem Child, in the light of the Gospel they want to be a sign of hope and tenderness of God in today’s world … because “…God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (Iv 3: 16).
51 Đevđelijska Street, Belgrade 11 000
Tel: 011 / 30-85-356
The addresses of the Little Sisters of Jesus who work elsewhere in the world: