DEVANIR DA SILVA (priest)
BORN: Ituverava, SP, Brazil – Aug. 4, 1930
FIRST VOWS: Feb. 6, 1952
PERPETUAL VOWS: Feb. 16, 1955
PRIESTLY ORDINATION: June 29, 1957
DEAD: São Paulo (District of Moóca), SP, Brazil – Feb. 10, 2018
AGE: 87 years old
On February 10, 2018, at 7:30 a.m., in the district of Moóca, in São Paulo (state capital), Fr. Devanir returned to Father’s home, after 87 years, 7 months and 9 days in this world.
Fr. Devanir was born in Ituverava, SP, on August 4, 1930, to Antônio Geraldo da Silva and Maria Benedita da Silva. He entered the Holy Cross Apostolic School (the Stigmatine School for aspirants) in Rio Claro, SP, on February 25, 1943. He started the Novitiate in Ribeirão Preto, SP, on February 15, 1951; and professed the Perpetual Vows in Verona, Italy, on February 16, 1955. After concluding his studies on Theology, he was ordained a Stigmatine Priest in Verona, Italy, on June 29, 1957, and stayed there for one year (1958), for pastoral experience.
Afterwards, returning to Brazil, he served in the Stigmatine parishes of Ituverava (1959) and Barretos (1960). From 1961 to 1966 he served as Director of Vocations; from 1967 to 1968 as Formator at the Stigmatine Seminary in Ribeirão Preto; and in 1969 as Novice Master in Campinas, SP. From 1970 on, he was back to serve in Stigmatine parishes, such as: Holy Family, in São Caetano do Sul, SP (1970-1977); Holy Cross, in Rio de Janeiro, RJ (1978-1979); Santiago, Chile (1880-1990); Livramento, BA (1991-1994); Holy Cross in Rio Claro, SP (1995-2006); St. Anthony in Santo Antônio do Sudoeste, PR (2007-2008); St. Benedict the Moor, in Campinas, SP; and Our Lady of the Good Counsel, in the district of Moóca, in São Paulo, SP (2010-2018).
Some striking features called attention on him: few words, sometimes interspersed with humor; very human in cozy treat; always humble and simple; totally detached from material things; assiduous prayer in recollection.
In the other hand, he was intrepid entrepreneur: the two buildings he erect, in São Caetano do Sul and Rio Claro, with agility and determination, patiently (sale of paper, newspapers, countless raffles, community fund-raiser dinners, financing at low rates…), reveal the daring side of Fr. Devanir, capable of facing any challenge.
However, the greatest challenge he bequeathed to us was to experience an exemplary Stigmatine community life in all the communities he passed through: cordial welcoming and hospitality; friendly communication; concern for the spiritual benefit of his confreres. That was a way he also applied in dealing with the laity.
In a single word, he was an authentic and virtuous “apostolic missionary”, inside and outside of his community.
This intense missionary ardor gradually undermined his organism, so that a pulmonary embolism led him to death.
His wake was in the Stigmatine Parish of Our Lady of the Good Counsel, at the district of Moóca, in São Paulo, SP, along the day and night of February 10th, with the attendance of his Stigmatine confreres, family members, relatives and friends.
On the morning of February 11th, Fr. Devanir’s body was transferred to the Stigmatine Parish of the Holy Cross, in Rio Claro, where was waked by Stigmatine confreres and former parishioners. His funeral Mass was at 9:30 at that same morning, presided by the Most Rev. José Geraldo do Valle, CSS, Bishop Emeritus of Guaxupé, MG, and concelebrated by Stigmatine priests and representatives of the Diocesan Clergy and Consecrated Life. The homily was delivered by Fr. Jordélio Siles Ledo, CSS, Provincial Vicar, who presented a brief summary of the life and virtues of Fr. Devanir. The Mass was also attended by family members and friends of Fr. Devanir, besides the Stigmatine Novices, parishioners and friends.
At 1:30 p.m., the body of Fr. Devanir was transferred to the local cemetery, where was buried in the Stigmatine grave.