Loading
Nun describes simplicity of Pope's retirement monastery
By Estefania Aguirre

.- One of the nuns that lived in the monastery where the Pope will retire says his choice shows his “great simplicity” because it “is not a work of art or comparable with other Vatican buildings.”

“His decision to retire has surprised me, but he is very brave, although he is fragile and elderly,” said the nun from the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, who requested anonymity because of her cloistered life.

“But this decision is proof that he has a very lucid mind,” she stated, adding that “our self love does not allow us to see our own limitations, contrary to what Pope Benedict has done.”
 
“If I loved him before,” she declared, “now I love him even more.”

The sisters led a simple life with no staff. They spent their time praying and, for their 400th anniversary, made liturgical vestments for Pope Benedict to donate to poorer churches.

“One week before we left he asked us: ‘what will the Pope do without you?’ and he asked us to keep praying for him,” said the nun.

“His decision has made us cry, but he has been very brave,” she added.

The monastery, called Mater Ecclesiae, is 4,300 square feet and lies just west of St. Peter’s Basilica.

It contains a chapel, a choir room, a library, a semi-basement, a terrace and a visiting room that was added in 1993.

When Pope Benedict XVI announced on Feb. 11 that he was going to resign from the papacy and live in the convent, speculation began to circulate about when he made his decision, since renovations began in Nov. 2012.

According to the Spanish nun, who currently resides in a convent in Madrid, the building had not been refurbished in 18 years and needed minor repairs.

“We had humidity in the basement, the windows needed changing, and the terrace on top needed fixing and painting because of past snow,” she explained.

“But the building is very small, so they had to wait for us to leave to begin working on it.”

Reflecting on her experience living in the Vatican convent, the Visitation nun said she and her fellow religious felt intensely that they “were the heart of the Church.”

“It was an experience that is very hard to put into words.”

Their mission was to pray for the Pope, for his trips, and accompany him in prayer on a daily basis.

The Spanish nun recalled how Pope Benedict would often thank them for their prayers and regularly checked up on their general well-being.

He originally wanted French nuns to live in the monastery, she explained, but due to the small number of vocations in France he decided it would be better to pick them from Spain.

The monastery was established in 1994 by Blessed John Paul II as a place dedicated solely to prayer for the Pope, his ministry and the cardinals.  

The order of the Visitation of St. Mary was picked from among many other religious groups to live in the monastery from Oct. 7, 2009 until Oct. 7, 2012.

Their stay was extended for 15 days and they left the monastery on Oct. 22, just after Bl. John Paul’s feast day.

The seven sisters all came from convents in Spain, but one was from Colombia and another from Equatorial Guinea.

Tags: Pope Benedict, Pope Resignation

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

Related News:

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Sep
2

Liturgical Calendar

September 2, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Gospel
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 2:10B-16
Gospel:: Lk 4:31-37

Saint of the Day

Martyrs of September »

Saint
Date
08/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Homily
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: