Dec. 9, 2013, was a memorable day for Leocadia Castelo Palanca. On that date, she turned 100 years old.
San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, was graced a century ago by the cries of a baby girl who grew up to be a steadfast lady, despite losing her mother when she was only 11.
Cared for by her aunts, she became a teacher—understanding, loving and forgiving.
A formidable positive thinker, she continuously admonished her children never to dwell on a negative issue. Her dedication to harmony and moderation became the stronghold of her family.
Widowed early, at age 36, her steadfastness was further chiseled. Her being a catechist imbibed in her the power of prayer, fullness in action, and dedication to family and work.
Retired at 65, she left for Sydney, Australia.
During her last visit to the Philippines in 2006, she had a mild stroke and was confined in the hospital. From a shower of celestial care, she recovered after two days.
What a gracious blessing from Leocadia to be born on Dec. 9—because centuries ago, in 1531, on that day on a distant hilltop in Tepeyac, Mexico, flowers bloomed with mesmerizing fragrance in the dead of winter. Our celestial mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, had come to visit our world!
This became a personal gift for Leocadia. Our Blessed Mother knew her plight as a young girl, and marked Leocadia’s birthday as the date of her significant visit to our world. Our Lady of Guadalupe covered Leocadia with her mantle of beautiful love.
True enough, for as our heavenly mother is always caring, Leocadia’s goodness still warms the hearts of those around her, even as others have had their ashes long blown away onto the four winds.
Leocadia is a…
Excellent exemplar and epitome of
Outstanding harmony and moderation,
Cheerfully caring constantly for her family
Amid anxieties through
Discipline, determination and devotion. Her
Iconic influence will be revered and remembered
As always loving, living and praying!
For Leocadia, at 100 years and five months as of May 9 this year, “to live fully” is an understatement.