The article by Dom Martin on Fr. Chico Monteiro makes
heart-warming reading and I am indebted to Bernado
Colaço for making it available to me, as well as other
Goanet readers.

As Fr.Chico’s nephew, please allow me to thank Dom on
behalf of the entire family and recall the deep
appreciation and the highest esteem in which my
revered uncle held him. 

Beneath a diminutive stature, a soft, almost feminine
figure and face, there was in Fr. Chico a will of
steel and a heart of gold. He made no secret that he
drew his strength from his deep faith in Jesus Christ.
Like St. Paul he often said “ For me to live is Christ
and to die is gain”. 

His life, from cradle to grave, was one dedicated to
God.His favourite words that were said about Pius XII,
aptly applied to him too: “Pés firme na Terra, olhos
postos no Céu”. Feet firm on the ground, eyes looking
in the direction of Heaven.

His living was Spartan; he slept on a wooden bed,
shunning all comforts. A great part of his long nights
was spent in prayer before the altar of God.

His last days - I remember vividly - gave him an
opportunity to be even more Christ-like as was his
wish. He tended lovingly every aged priest under his
tutelage at the Clergy Home that the Archbishop
entrusted to his loving care. He dressed the wounds,
cleansed the soiled beds, and kept long vigils at
night by the bedside of those who were sick and
bedridden. When he exhaled his last breath the name of
Jesus was in his lips.

Had he been an activist, not a priest – Dom rightly
says - he might have gained a lot of kudos, mundane
glory. But that was not to be. He would have not
wanted it either. And never mind!

More important, is the fact that Fr. Chico’s noble
example, has not been in vain. Though he is no more he
still lives on through the myriad of lives he touched.
As Dom rightly concludes at the end of his literary
masterpiece: - “the seed that was sown and drifted
into oblivion found its prodigious sprout some place
else”. And I might add, it did sprout in the place he
always longed for…


Francisco Colaco

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