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Entrega do Prémio Mulher Activa 2011
Entrega do Prémio Mulher Activa 2011
Lisboa, 15 de Junho de 2012 see more: Entrega do Prémio Mulher Activa 2011

SPEECHES

Mrs Maria Cavaco Silva Speeches

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50º aniversário da Casa de Saúde S. José, Vilar de Frades (6)
50º aniversário da Casa de Saúde S. José, Vilar de Frades (5)

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SPEECHES

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Speech delivered by Mrs. Maria Cavaco Silva at the formal Ceremony for the Opening of the Commemorations of the 50th Anniversary of the S. José Health Clinic
Areias de Vilar, 31 January 2007

Fernando Pessoa has written:

“Without the insanity that is man
more than the sane beast,
a postponed corpse that begets?”

Most of us know this poem, “D. Sebastião”, an insane figure of our History, and like to quote it, as I am now doing.

And I am quoting it because when we mention heroes and saints, it is always insanity we speak about.

It is a sane insanity, of course.

It is the insanity of overstepping limits, of bringing love to God and unto others – which is the same – to unreasonable extremes.

When we come to an institution such as this, whose founder was S. João de Deus, the words insane and insanity come to mind, maybe because the Telhal Clinic, and so many which came later, are all associated with mental health.

We know that in the era of S. João de Deus, sanctity, in people’s minds, was largely connected with mental derangement and to a kind of unruly behaviour.

This behaviour is not limited to João Cidade but it is with him that the connection between saints and insane becomes, so to speak, paradigmatic.

João Cidade, due to his varied and troubled life, reaches the point when he is looked upon in the same way as those to whom he mainly dedicates his attention – the insane – maybe because he had personal experience of the “treatments” to which they were submitted.

This is not the full extent of his actions, since any suffering he witnessed caused in him the need to help.

Of the much that I saw, heard and learnt here, today, the notion of enlargement remained, as it did in S. João’s own spirit, which the passing centuries and the striving of his followers imposed to the activities of the Hospitallers’ Order of S. João de Deus.

The route followed since the pioneering of João de Deus in the XVI century was lengthy and we cannot analyse with today’s eyes what happened in those times, whichever the area. The evolution of knowledge increases our responsibility and much was accomplished by João Cidade with the knowledge available in his days..

I am soulfully pleased that I came into direct contact today with an accomplishment which I knew of in theory and already admired. I now recognize that theory is of little value in such a case, since the only way to appraise what is going on is to be on the spot, to view the daily grind of the institutions, to know what and how they perform and, mainly, to meet those who place their heart and lives in the service of others.

This is the sane insanity which gives wings to human beings and makes them fly to their suffering brothers.

As you may be aware, I have just been to India. And there, in the unspeakable misery of so many thousands of people living below an acceptable minimum, it seemed I could guess at a white, tiny and wizened ghost, which still spread gestures of love to the poorer of the poor and gave them its smile.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, João Cidade and so many, many others! We have many examples! Hopefully we may know how to follow them and be capable of extending our hand to the brother who is more in need than we are. That was what I saw here today: extended hand, held hands.

Held hand, after all!

Thank you for the lesson of love I learnt today in this House!

In the opening of the celebrations of the 50 years of the S. José Clinic, I hope that this occasion for scrutiny, as are all anniversaries, will be fruitful.

That what was done in the past be analysed so that, with the expertise acquired with the mistakes and the achievements, a better future be built to serve others.

My congratulations and best wishes to continue your good work.


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