We just heard the death of our oldest brother in Carmel, Father Celstino Lui, O.Carm. We would like to republish the article on his centennial birthday appeared in last Citoc Magazine.
Our life can last seventy years, perhaps the strongest of us eighty. Who evaluates the power of your anger, fear and respect that you deserve? Teach us to number our days, and give our hearts to wisdom” says the psalmist. This is what our brother Celestino Lui says as he completes his 100 years.
The same day as his birthday, June 14, 2011, Celestino Lui, O. Carm., a member of the Province of St. Elias (Flum) in Brazil, celebrated the centennial of his life with a solemn Mass in the city of Unaí, in the state of Minas Gerais, with the participation of bishop Leonardo Pereira, of Paracatu, Bishop Paulo Cardoso, O. Carm., of Petrolina, Archbishop Antônio Muniz, O. Carm., Archbishop of Maceió, Raúl Maraví , O. Carm., General Councilor, Geraldo Maciel, O. Carm., Prior Provincial, along with many friars, religious, family and many members of the Carmelite Family. Father Celestino Lui, O. Carm. is the oldest member of the Carmelite Order and on the occasion of this birthday, the Brazil post office issued a commemorative stamp.
Father Celestino was born in Itu, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 14, 1911. At the age of seven years he decided to embrace the religious life after receiving the assurance from an old priest that he would always be a faithful and holy religious. Looking back on his life life, Father Celestino said he had sinned, but always felt the hand of God protected him and urged him to continue to persevere. Despite his many years, he still lives the religious life and always respects the orders of superiors in the good and faithful exercise of his life as a Carmelite. To this day Celestino teaches us to love, play, study, pray always, and even complain when necessary.
He shared his secret to longevity with the brothers and the people of Unaí: “Living in the fear of God, diligently observe the commandments, cultivate honesty and holiness in every state of life, continually pray, because prayer is the way of salvation that will take us to full communion with God and believe that only God can give us the holiness and happiness in this world and of eternity.”
As a direct descendant of Italians, the second of seven children of a brave couple of immigrants who came to Brazil, Celestino used many exclamations and even used profanity in his everyday speech. However over the years his hair turned gray and his life took him into silence, prayer and solitude within the convent. He constantly prayed the breviary, prayed with the Bible, and entertained himself with his books of contemplation and that were worn by time. He still prays aloud in Italian though the friars who live with him do not fully understand him.
With regard to his hundred years, Fr Celestino constantly says: “With a life that gave me so much; age has given me happiness and the eyes to see how good God is with me in the community of brothers.”