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29 August

Lucia Ho, MIC

Born on February 2, 1908, from a Buddist family in Canton (China), Sister Lucia is the 14th child of the family. Her father is a rich merchant and her mother is his third wife. She is 12 years old when a friend invites her to the “Académie du Saint-Esprit” where Canadian Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate-Conception (MIC) give English classes. Here she meets Helena Foung, a friend with whom she will share her faith and her religious vocation too. They begin with English classes and end up talking about religion and preparing for Baptism that they both receive on April 20, 1924.

They become attached to the sisters and interested in their works, the “Orphelinat” and the “Crèche.” Lucia and Helen are impressed by the sisters’ life and ask to enter the community. Though the answer from Montreal is negative, because the foundation in China is too young. Upset but not discouraged, they enroll in university to better serve the Académie. After a trip to the U.S., Lucia asks to enter the noviciate in Montreal and is accepted on April 8, 1942. She goes through the period of formation and takes her vows on February 11, 1945. She is the first Chinese sister of the Institute.

In January 1947, Sister Maria Lucia returns to Canton where the political situation soon deteriorates. On September 14, 1949 the Communist army takes over the city. Some Canadian sisters are imprisoned and judged by popular trials. The Académie is confiscated. Sister Lucia sees all her sisters leave and she, herself, is accused of being a “counter-revolutionary”. She is punished with several years of prison and forced labor. It is only in 1980 that the community is able to trace her down and do what is necessary to free her and bring her back, on June 12. She never betrayed her Christian faith.

Not being authorized to stay in Hong Kong, S. Lucia returns to Montreal, where she finds other sisters from Canton, and then to Quebec where she finally is able to see her friend, Helena Foung, once again. Sister Lucia died on August 29, 1984. The nurse who took care of her used to say: “I always enter this room as it were a sanctuary.”

LINK: http://www.soeurs-mic.qc.ca