Biography of Blessed Sister Lindalva Justo de Oliveira

Lindalva was born on October 20, 1953 into a large family in Sitio Malhada da Areia, a very poor area of the state of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil. Baptized on January 7, 1954, she had her own parents as her first spiritual directors: her mother taught her the first principles of the faith and Christian prayer and her father often read the Bible to her and her younger siblings, bringing them to Mass. Significantly, the death of her father in 1982, caused by abdominal cancer and assisted affectionately by Lindalva in the last months of his life, led her to reflect on her existence and to orient herself decisively towards the poor. From 1986 she began to attend the Daughters of Charity Vocations Movement, participating regularly in the formative meetings and maturing in her heart the desire to serve the poor. After receiving her Confirmation on November 28, 1987, Lindalva began her postulancy in the Provincial House of Recife on February 11, 1988.

On July 16, 1989 Lindalva and five other companions began their novitiate in Recife. From her letters to her mother and friend Amara, we see the feelings of happiness, joy and total apostolic dedication with which she prepared to complete her new journey of formation. During those months she also took an interest in her relatives who were far from God and in particular, encouraged her alcoholic brother, Antonio, to change his life. The following year her brother stopped drinking, and another joy was bestowed upon her when she learned that her friend, Conceição had decided to join the Daughters of Charity.

At the end of her novitiate on January 29, 1991, Sister Lindalva was sent to serve 40 elderly persons in a ward of the Abrigo Dom Pedro II, a public hospital in Salvador de Bahia. Her simplicity in relating to people and the friendliness and joy with which she treated all people gained her the respect of the sisters, the officials of the hospital and the patients. She submitted herself to the humblest jobs serving the elderly community, especially those suffering the most. She served them materially and spiritually, making sure that they always received the Sacraments; she sang and prayed with them and got her driving license and took them out for trips. She was completely "transparent" with the Superior and cordial and amiable with her sisters.

In January 1993, the Abrigo welcomed a 46-year-old man, Augusto da Silva Peixoto, who, despite having no right to be let in due to his age, was admitted with a recommendation. Sister Lindalva treated him with the same courtesy as she treated all the guests, but the man, who had a difficult and unpleasant character, fell in love with the young nun which began a difficult period of trials for Sister Lindalva. Understanding Augustus' intentions, she tried to make him understand in every way to keep the appropriate distance and began to treat him with caution. Sister Lindalva began to be afraid of this man and confided in some friends and sisters. The most convenient, simple and immediate solution would have been to leave the Abrigo, but her affection for the elderly kept her from leaving. One day during recreation time, she confided to a sister: "I prefer my blood be shed rather than go away."

On Good Friday, April 9, Augustus struck Sister Lindalva with a knife when she fell to the ground crying out several times "God protect me." The autopsy counted 44 injuries spread throughout her body. Before the ecclesiastical and civil courts, Augustus declared that he had killed her precisely because she had refused him. As was clearly stated in the Positio, prepared for the cause of beatification, her not giving into sin "entailed death as a result of her choice of life, based on a lived faith." Today, in the place where she was killed there is a mural that commemorates her, with many flowers also always present on her tomb, with countless signs of graces and favors. She was declared blessed on December 2, 2007.