Mestre Pequenina honored and fulfilled her mission with devotion
Ermanna Cavazzoli da Costa*
| September 28, 2021
This September 28, 2021 cannot be forgotten by us disciples of the UDV, for it is the day that our dear Mestre Pequenina, considered by many adepts to be the matriarch of the União do Vegetal, would be turning 93 years old.
Mestre Gabriel married this young woman (Raimunda Ferreira da Costa, who at the time was 19 years old) who came predestined in this incarnation to fulfill the valuable mission of being the companion of our spiritual guide and to assist him in the creation of the UDV. A religion that in its doctrine shows us the value that a woman has in a man’s life and vice versa, a basic principle for the formation of a family and the continuity of life with the generation of children.
All of nature manifests the complimentary aspects of the masculine and the feminine, and our sacrament couldn’t be any different.
With his life practice faithfully aligned with his teachings, Mestre Gabriel showed and declared respect for the consideration and the value that he had for his wife, within a culture that was extremely sexist, especially out in the rubber tapping plantations, where women were a mere object to serve men.
Our Beloved Mestre Pequenina knew how to honor and fulfill this mission with devotion.
A faithful companion who did not hesitate to accompany her husband during the comings and goings to and from the rubber tapping plantation, she faced the challenges of an inhospitable environment with courage and strength. Little by little she came to understand the revelation of the true Treasure that the Mestre announced and offered to us.
In this way she faced the new challenges and the work presented with the brothers and sisters that were arriving, opening the door to her home, welcoming and offering shelter when someone needed it – despite having a large family with several children – and providing counsel and doctrine when the situation called for it.
Talent, force and firmness
When I arrived to the UDV, at the beginning of the 1980s, in Núcleo Apuí (Lauro de Freitas – BA), I heard several people from the Direction speak about the talent and force that she had, the only female Mestre, until one day I had the opportunity to meet her when I went to visit the Nucleo and the family of Mestre Gabriel. At first she seemed an austere person that didn’t give much opening for frivolities or fanfare, but fate provided me the merit of being able to share some time with her and to get closer to her.
When I went to Porto Velho to get engaged to Jair, in 1992, I visited her home. The first thing that called my attention what something written above the door: “who walks rightly has rights.” Upon entering into the living room, on the sky-blue painted walls were photos, drawings, paintings and objects, everything depicting Mestre Gabriel and the UDV. It felt as if I had entered another dimension of reality, quite different from the culture I was used to, nothing was hidden.
I met her sons Benvino and José Gabriel da Costa Filho, who is called Róseo, and I perceived the toil of this woman who had 11 children, some of which had limitations and some dependencies that required much more dedication. Other children, who were already married and had families formed, arrived asking for her blessings and would leave asking for blessings as well. I could feel the respect, consideration and affection that everyone had for their mother, the backbone of that house. I was also touched by the way grandchildren, disciples and friends would come and go in this simple house with open doors, where there was never a lack of food.
The sky blue of the walls suddenly overflowed, symbolizing the firmness with which she had to face the reality of life.
On another occasion I was able to witness and perceive a peculiarity of Mestre Pequenina that called my attention a lot: the distinctive connection that she established via eye contact with the people who would go to talk with her about personal matters and ask counsel from her. It involved a greater level of concentration than normal that I hadn’t seen with anyone prior to that moment.
In some moments, I felt the weight of her word, the dimension she had of the spiritual perception of life, which opened new windows for me to see things.
I admire the ability and strength of that spirit to overcome the challenges that were imposed, to overcome the pain of losing, while still young (she was 43 years old), her husband, companion, friend and guide, and also some children (I was able to witness her profound suffering over the loss of her son Salomão). But she always managed, with time, to recover and continue her mission as a mother, as a defender and as a caretaker of this work, which she dedicated her life to. The words spoken by her summarize this: “The União do Vegetal is my mother and father, it’s everything to me.”
Despite the suffering, as a storyteller of events and so many experiences, she never lost her ability to bring moments of joy and good humor.
Mestre Gabriel, with his deep knowledge of the human soul, chose her to fulfill his mission with, and made a point of saying to those who didn’t have a clearer comprehension, that he recreated the União do Vegetal with Pequenina and if necessary he would return and recreate it with her again.
He gave her the secret of the Talisman, the competence to have dominion within the burracheira, and to take anyone who got into extremely difficult situations within the force of the Vegetal out of said situation.
On his final visit to Manaus, knowing that he would not return, Mestre Gabriel took the documents that govern our Center and placed them in her hands saying: “Pequenina, when you need me, I am here.”
I want to express my gratitude for having received this invitation from the UDV Blog to be able to express my homage on this day to Mestre Pequenina, this very special Lady, the Matriarch of this immeasurable Work, a mirror and reference of a woman and a disciple. And for me too, especially for having generated in her womb and raised with dedication and care her son Jair, my husband, companion, friend and Mestre.
*Ermanna Cavazzoli da Costa is a member of the Body of Counsel of Núcleo Sultão das Matas (Lauro de Freitas- BA)