I opened the little wooden box, roughly shaped with
dull instruments and discovered a large fragment of consecrated host, totally
wet and stuck in a corner. There was the Lord, soaking wet by the rain.
Sacrilege? Not really! Just a lot of faith coupled with the poverty of our
Pedro Leveque is a young man from Lalaua in the bush of
Nampula Province, but lives and studies in Ribaue, Mozambique. Recently his home
was destroyed during a RENAMO attack. He has been able to forgive his attackers
and the FRELIMO, who caused the attack. Pedro is at peace with himself and
others and practices his faith in a variety of ways: he takes an active part in
Sunday prayer, teaches catechism, does good works, and follows the youth group
This time it was his turn to come to the mission to get
the Eucharist. The catechist had given him the box, but Pedro did not know that
it was not empty. He had come by bicycle: eighteen miles under a heavy downpour,
reaching the mission totally wet. His first question: "Senhor Padre, what time
is it?" "It is only 7:15 a.m." He was really pleased with himself. "Really? That
means that I was doing almost ten miles an hour. Not bad, considering the rain!"
As he handed me the box, wrapped in burlap, I had made the
discovery. It had touched my heart. I just looked at Pedro and said nothing.
After all he was just as wet as the Lord and was in much greater danger of
catching a cold, but was too happy to worry about it.
I cleaned the inside of the box, lined it with some clear plastic, placed the
Eucharist in it, and gave it back to Pedro, who refused my invitation to stay a
while. The people were waiting. He jumped on his bike and raced back with the
"food" for his Christian community. The Lord reached Ribaue dry and proper, and
became nourishment for many, thanks to Pedro, his bicycle, and his faith.