The nun who was killed by terrorists in Peru and declared a martyr

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In 1990, Sister Aguchita was shot dead by the Sendero Luminoso a terrorist group in Peru.

She belonged to the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, where her memory remains engraved in the hearts of many religious sisters.

Provincial Leader, Congregation of the Good Shepherd (Peru)

“She built God's Kingdom starting with the simplest things. From cooking and her attention to the other sisters, to her prayer and that touch of humanity that she would give you.”

Sister Marlene is currently the provincial in Peru, but when she met Sister Aguchita, she had just entered the novitiate.

Though they overlapped for a very short time, she hasn't forgotten a small but life-changing gesture.

It was an excursion day, but Sister Aguchita stayed behind with Sister Marlene, who had administrative tasks to attend to.

Provincial Leader, Congregation of the Good Shepherd (Peru)

“Aguchita was sitting there, knitting, waiting for me. She said, 'I didn't go on the trip because I knew you were coming back. Here, have some lunch.' Then she sat there with me, knitting, asking me questions, making conversation, until I finished eating. That made an impact on me. They're very simple things, but they fill your soul.”

With Sendero Luminoso's arrival, violence in the area increased, and Sister Aguchita's congregation reflected on whether it would be prudent to continue to serve communities in the most dangerous areas.

They decided to continue and accept the risk. In the end, the worst happened. On Sept. 27, 1990, the terrorists entered the town where Sister Aguchita was. They chose a small group of people to execute, and Sister Aguchita was among them.

Cause for Beatification of Sister Aguchita

“And they killed everyone there. She interceded for them and then when they were about to kill her, she had her hands together, she wanted to kneel. Her hands and legs were shaking.... She fell to the ground and they shot her five times. When we performed the autopsy to exhume the body, I was truly shocked. Nearly 30 years later, the forensic expert removed the five bullets from her body.”

The news of her death came as a shock to the rest of the sisters. They were conscious of the risk they faced, but they were surprised that the most peaceful of the sisters had been killed.

Provincial, Congregation of the Good Shepherd (Peru)

“And it was truly... But what is this? There were many emotions. She's the calmest woman, the sister who never raises her voice. Not her. What happened?”

Sister Marlene says that Sister Aguchita's death made them ask themselves if they were truly willing to follow in her footsteps.

She says it was a time full of doubt, but that Sister Aguchita's example was like a beacon showing them the way in times of darkness.

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