“Sia fatta”. Lo ripeteva sempre, riferendosi alla Volontà di Dio, Victoria Tumusiime, focolarina‘Let it be done,’ meaning let God’s will be done, is what Victoria Tumusiime, a focolarina from Uganda, constantly repeated. It is now 20 years since her departure for heaven. She would say, ‘Inside me I have a joy, a joy that I cannot explain. I’m incredibly happy.’Because of the radical way she always followed what God suggested to her as she lived for others, Chiara Lubich called her: Victoria of Mary.
‘I noticed,’ said a friend of hers who had been drawn to Chiara’s Ideal by her, ‘that loving everyone had become her way of life. The Gospel was her strength and she didn’t hesitate in telling these things to other young people.’
This revolution in Victoria had been brought about when she was eight years old. She discovered Focolare spirituality through Fr Emilio Tanel, a Combonian missionary who had met Chiara Lubich in Trent. Victoria was among the first gen (young people of the Focolare Movement) in Uganda during the 80s.
Victoria gave herself without reserve. She moved to the capital, Kampala and began teaching in a primary school. One of her pupils, Rosaria, remembers, ‘I found it difficult to learn English, and she offered to give me free lessons. The last time she came to my house, which was a long way from where she lived, it was only to say hello.’
A few months later Victoria went to the little town of Fontem in Cameroon. Young people from all over Africa come there to set up one of the many ‘workshops’ of living together as brothers and sisters that, inspired by Focolare life, are being established across the world. ‘I decided,’ she wrote, ‘to leave everything: parents, home, profession, a future family, not for me but for God. The Gospel revolution really entered into me.’
The call to give herself to God within the focolare developed in her and so Victoria left for another little town, Loppiano in Italy, to undertake a further period of training.
In the end her last journey was, after she had been found suffering from a lethal virus, a month later to a specialist hospital in Padua. Full of trust, day by day she would repeat her ‘Let it be done.’ Victoria accepted everything: ‘I feel fullness, feel joy. I have a new life within.’
She offered her suffering to God for Chiara Lubich’s visit to Africa what happening at that same moment and, when the doctors asked her how she was, never complaining she would always say, ‘Better!’ Then on 8 April 1992 she met her Spouse, Jesus, in Paradise.
While she was in Africa, Chiara had kept informed of developments and at that very time she heard about some land in the Ivory Coast given to the focolarini. A new little town will be built there and was immediately called ‘Mariapolis Victoria’.
Chiara wrote, ‘Victoria will certainly be doing her part in heaven so that the whole of Africa will discover and fulfil God’s marvellous plan for it.’